Pla de na Tesa in Marratxi was a beehive of activity on Sunday, as people flocked to the first edition of the Sa Llet d'Ametla (Almond Milk) Fair.
From 9 in the morning there were some 50 stalls with various products -vegetables, animals, ceramics, paintings, bakery products, necklaces, books, honey, wine, perfume etc.-- a range as wide and as different as the people attending. All of this was outstripped by almond milk, the star product on the Christmas table which has a great following in Marratxi.
Bernat Cabot, a local scholar and director of the folklore group Aires des Pla de Marratxi, gave a conference on the subject in the public library.
He commented that almond milk was used as far back as the 14th Century, as shown in the oldest Catalan gastronomic book Llibre de Sent Sovi.
It was brought to Marratxi by the friars of the Santa Maria del Cami friary, who used it as a substitute for cow's milk because of their rigorous regime of abstinence. Complementing the fair was an exhibition which explained the process of making this typical product.
A few months ago the idea of organising a fair around this typical product was put forward and the Fair was duly organised by the Fairs Commission of Pla de na Tesa, the Associo de Veinats Xaloc neighbourhood association, and the Es Puntet youth group, with the collaboration of the Cabot and Pocovi families, who are continuing the tradition of making this drink. The organisers could not have been more pleased with the outcome, and they are already planning the next Fair.
Almonds were once a major cash crop in Majorca, but in recent years have faced stiff competition from other areas, including California.


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