Palma.— The stacks of flat octagonal-shaped cardboard boxes at Palma airport are ready and waiting for immediate shipment to other parts of Spain through on-line orders. Arrival is guaranteed through a door-to-door service within 24 hours.

Patisseries such as the Forn de Campos or the Forn Nou have placed a high value on internet sales as the network has brought in thousands of orders each year.

With 35 independent patisseries associated through franchise to the Forn de Campos, it is one of the most popular businesses of its kind on the island. The fact that they use the internet to sell their ensaïmads is no secret as they have been trading on-line for the past ten years.

It is clear from the order books of the Forn de Campos that a large number of regular customers are resident in Madrid. They are responsible for a goodly portion of the 2'500 orders they receive annually on the internet.

The Forn Nou in La Vileta in Palma has been using on-line sales networks for hardly a year but every month, the patisserie is receiving no less than 70 orders from the mainland. The system that the Forn Nou uses to get orders promptly to its customers is totally reliable.

Sergio Pons, a partner and founder of www.mallorcaensaimadas.com, explained yesterday that no sooner is an order received than the bakers make up the dough and leave it to ferment overnight. It is then baked at between 3pm and 4pm and then after a few hours of it being left to stand, a messenger service then comes to take the order to the airport.

Before breakfast the next day, the customer has the order lying on his doorstep in whatever part of the mainland he or she happens to be living.
New wrapping
Because of exportation, the traditional cardboard box encasing the ensaïmada has been changed for a vacuum-packed wrapping to ensure its prolonged freshness during the journey to the mainland.

The special wrapping was developed by a food technology team at the Balearic University's Faculty of Chemistry but not all patissiers have been persuaded to swop the cardboard box for the plastic.

And if patissiers are concerned about industrial espionage and about manufacturers on the mainland managing to get hold of the original recipes, there is no need for them to worry say experts, because the island climate is part of the make-up of the ensaïmada, “and that can never be stolen” they claim. Indeed, the Forn de Campos has expanded its horizons and exports ensaïmadas to other parts of Europe within a maximum time frame of 48 hours.

There have even been potential customers showing interest from as far away as New York, and although this has not as yet proved a viable concern, it is not inconceivable that guests at European hotels could be enjoying Majorcan ensaïmadas for breakfast. Ensaïmada dough is even being exported to Germany in its raw state for baking at home.