Ensaimada, Sweet Temptation

There surely is no other product of the Balerics more typical or better known. The spiral ensaimada is a breakfast very much appreciated and not just by the Mallorquines, also by the islands many visitors. The selling and eating of this product has spread to many places and bakeries worldwide.

The name ensaimaida comes from the word “saïm” that means lard, which is one of its ingredients. Nevertheless we cannot be 100% sure of the origin of this sweet pastry due to the cultural mix-up of Balearic history. Some claim that the Arabs were the creators, who brought the dessert with them in 909 AD: its form they say is that of a turban.  On the other hand there are those who claim that it comes from a bun, “the bulema” that the Jews used to knead.

The ingredients used to prepare the dough are flour, eggs, sugar, raising agent, milk and lard, or olive oil. You stretch the dough until its a thin rope and then coil it in a spiral or snail-like shape, creating its characteristic form. After it’s baked you then shake some powdered sugar over it.

The traditional Ensaimada is not filled, though in recent years it is on offer with such fillings as:  pumpkin squash, custard, chocolate, cream… Like this it’s size is somewhat bigger and it is served as much for dessert as it is for breakfast.

For many years this product has been controlled in relation to it’s origin, quality, manufacture, and ingredients by its own Regulatory Council; in much the same way as Champagne.

Many visitors to Mallorca love to bring back this tasty spiral souvenir to their family and friends. It is very typical to see tourists loaded down with the unusual hexagonal boxes that contain these splendid pastries.