Easter sweets in Mallorca
When the brotherhoods of Palma carry the "Cristo de la Sang", the revered figure of Christ, from the Church of Annunciació in a procession through the Old Town to the cathedral on Maundy Thursday, Mallorca's bakers are working frantically. This marks a different kind of wedding; that of the crespells and the rubiols. These two traditional treats are eaten all over the island during Easter and are sent by post as gifts to dear relatives on the mainland.
Eggs, sobrasada and pumpkin jam
Crespells, or shortbread biscuits, were previously only available at Easter and the pastry has its roots in Jewish cuisine. The shape of the cookies originally resembled the Star of David. Today, however, there are crespells shaped as stars, hearts and fish and in Mallorca they are baked with pork instead of goose fat. The half-moon shaped dumplings - rubiols - are palm-sized and are either sweet or savoury. Mallorcans eat them with cream cheese, apricot or pumpkin jam and variants with chocolate and sobrasada with honey can also be found. The only thing missing are the monas de pascuas, large chocolate eggs which become ornate decorations in the pastry shops at Easter. These oversized eggs, some of which are filled with other goodies or toys, can weigh up to five kilos and cost several hundred euros.
Easter specialties, now also vegan
If you want to score points with your Mallorcan friends, don't just bring a chocolate egg to the Easter brunch. Instead, consider a typical Easter bread, the empanada. These are wreath-shaped sponge cakes inside which hard-boiled eggs are baked. Empanadas are popular across the Balearic Islands where they are also known as panades, which are filled with lamb instead of pork, spring onions and spices for Easter. You can also find organic and vegan variants of Mallorca's Easter specialties, for example in the Fornet de la Soca bakery in Palma. For the crispy olive oil batter of the panades, baker Tomeu Arbona uses local flour from organic farming and fills it with ingredients from Mallorca such as peas, artichokes, herbs and orange juice - delicious and contemporary.