Friends and family are always asking me about the pandemic situation on Mallorca. After all, pictures and headlines go through the German media almost every day: “General mask requirement on the Balearic Islands!” “Irresponsible behaviour of tourists on the Ballermann!” “Mallorcan beaches are overcrowded!” etc. Perhaps I have to start with the fact that my mother, who lives in Germany, always knows before me that a thunderstorm is imminent on Mallorca or that it has rained badly (in truth often only a few drops). That means that the Mallorca coverage of the German media is often completely exaggerated. The truth is that the pandemic situation feels quite relaxed, which is also due to the generally relaxed mentality of the Mallorcans. Masks are worn on the street and in stores, but not on the beach, during sports or in restaurants. Life normalizes, but in a very considerate and pleasant way.
The effects of the corona measures will certainly have long-term consequences on the island that cannot yet be foreseen. After all, the majority of Mallorcans live from tourism. 50 to 60% of the hotels are still closed because it was not worth opening due to all the regulations. The beaches are empty during the week, the locals come to the beach at the weekend – so it is full, but not overcrowded. The lockdown and the lack of tourism have hit many people and companies hard. And yet: the mood is miraculously good. The people do not let themselves get down and they are nice and considerate to each other and enjoy their island to the fullest. I feel the same way: Mallorca has never been more beautiful for me than at this moment, when the island is a bit vulnerable but wild and beautiful – and yes, emptier than usual.
During the lockdown, we found little presents of fresh eggs or chocolate at our gate, left by neighbors. We also started putting homemade jams or cakes in bags and hanging them on the neighbors’ fences. A nice sense of community grew out of the isolation that brought people closer together. Maybe that’s what I’ve always liked so much about Mallorca – besides the light and the warmth. The human warmth, care, relaxation and kindness. Like the old man at the gas station who cleans the car windows for me after refueling because “I can’t possibly see anything”. Or the guy in our farmer’s shop, who quickly carries the bags to my car when I have a particularly large purchase. Or the waitress in the café who greets me with “Hola reina!” (“Hello queen”) and asks me “Que queres beber, mi vida?” (“What do you want to drink, my life?”). Yes, I admit it: I love this island. When I visited other places and come back to Mallorca, I always whisper to her: “Hello, my beautiful”. For me Mallorca means wild nature, the elegant beauty of villages, coasts and mountains, people who come from all over the world to realize their dreams, and the relaxed attitude of the Mallorcan people. But it is also the taste of the fruits of this barren earth, such as apricots that grow in the middle of the island near the village Porreres. Or the almonds that we harvest from the thousands of almond trees that are so typical of the island.
Apricots and almonds – that’s the genuine Mallorcan flavour. And because the wellbeing of this island is so close to my heart at this moment, I have developed a delicious muffin recipe that brings the taste of the beautiful Balearics into your home. So you can give your loved ones a delicious little present in the spirit of Mallorcan neighborhood gifts – just to show them that you care.
And now my question to you: have you been to Mallorca? And what associations do you have with the island? I’m looking forward to your comment below!
APRICOT ALMOND MUFFINS
- 200 g spelt flour type 1050 alternatively: my gluten-free flour mixture; for the gluten-free version either add 1 egg OR dissolve 3/4 tbsp ground chia seeds in 3 tbsp water and leave to swell for 5 minutes. Then add to the dough.
- 60 g ground almonds
- 2 tsp tartar baking powder
- 2/3 tsp salt
- 100 ml maple syrup grade A or C
- 80 g virgin coconut oil melted
- 150 g applesauce
- 1 or a few drops of bitter almond oil
- 500 g apricots
- 20 g flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C top and bottom heat.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the dough, except for the apricots and flaked almonds, until smooth.
- Cut the apricots in halves, core them and dice half of the fruit and fold into the batter. Cut the other half into small wedges.
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Divide the dough evenly over the 12 cups. Spread the apricot wedges on the surface and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
- Bake the muffins on medium heat for 25-30 minutes. At the end of the baking time, a toothpick poked into the dough should come out clean.
- Take the muffins out of the oven and let them cool for 20 minutes, then remove them from the muffin tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.