Autumn has arrived and for me, one of the best things about the changing seasons in Mallorca is all the delicious fruits that ripen at this time of year.
Nesples, atzeroles, Mallorcan quince, junipers and pomegranates are just some of the goodies appearing on the shelves.
Several fruits that our ancestors feasted on, or that we loved as kids have already disappeared from the Island and local farmers are desperately trying to preserve the unique fruits that Mallorca is known for.
“Local varieties are those that have emerged spontaneously in a certain area or were introduced from other agricultural areas and have been maintained through the generations, usually by grafts, according to a Mallorcan toponymy study by Jaume Fornés Comas and Antoni Ordinas Garau.
Here are some of the local varieties of Mallorca:
This super fruit arrived in Mallorca centuries ago and it's a tree that adapts easily to the heat of summer and cold temperatures. It’s considered a super fruit, contains 80% water and 17% sugars and has a high content of polyphenols, punicalagin and anthocyanins, which strengthen and preserve collagen and improve eye microcirculation and the condition of blood vessels. Pomegranates also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
Ginjols, which are also known as jujubes are shaped like olives and measure 2-6 centimetres. They start off greenish in colour and turn maroon when they’re ripe. Ginjols are native to Asia, are rich in sugars, and Vitamin C and don't contain too many calories.
Les codonyes, or quince, grow in abundance in Mallorca and there are several varieties. The fruit is yellow with a white, juicy pulpy and quince trees are often used to make pear grafts. The fruit is not usually eaten raw, it's mostly used to make jam.
Atzeroles used to be very common in Mallorca and are gradually being reinstated. Theyare one of the most traditional fruits on the Island, are chock full of Vitamin C and apparently help to control stress.
Nesples are not well known and often difficult to find in markets in Mallorca. It's native to southeastern Europe and is a species of orange drupe that turns brown as it matures. It’s a globular shape with tiny hairs and measures 1-3 centimetres in diameter. The small ones are usually the sweetest, whereas the larger ones have an acid taste.
These plums are more oval shaped than usual and are rich in pigments called anthocyanins, which have a proven antioxidant and antiseptic action.
This small pear-shaped berry comes in shades of bright orange and deep red and has a similar texture to apples or pears.