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Mallorcan Olives

A staple of the Spanish diet that forms a traditional starter for most meals

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Olives were introduced to Mallorca by the Romans and have been used ever since. From the oil for cooking and soap to the branches for firewood or the wood for carving into bowls and spoons.

There are several types of olives in Mallorca. The three main ones are the 'sencera natural', an olive that's been picked before it turns black, the 'verda trencada' which is the same green olive but split and dressed with local fennel and chilli, and the 'negra natural' which is dark.

Almost every meal begins with bread and olives, for which you may pay a small charge. Bread and olives are also at the heart of 'pa amb oli', the favourite Mallorcan snack – bread rubbed with tomato, drizzled with olive oil and, sometimes, topped with ham or cheese. There is also a wonderful olive festival held in Caimari each year.