22-07-2014Gemma Andreu

The Majorcan Bakers and Confectioners Association, which is part of the PIMEM small to medium-sized businesses federation, has accused hoteliers of selling industrially produced ensaimadas rather ones of an “artisan” style made by local bakers.
The president of the association, Miquel Torrens, says that this “affects the quality of the product and of its image among tourists who buy ensaimadas to take home with them”.
Many bakeries in Majorca’s tourist areas are complaining about this hotelier policy.
“It is an emblematic product for Majorca” and production and turnover of the one hundred or so small bakers which dedicate themselves to its making would be improved were ensaimadas to be bought direct from them.
The association recognises that hotels can buy industrially produced ensaimadas for roughly 30% less than from traditional bakers but says that the quality is lacking and it does not reflect the skills of these bakers.
Torrens adds that in the 1980s there was an initiative to promote the sale of the traditionally produced pastry but hotels were seeking a commission of 50% which meant that the sale of the “artisan” ensaimada was not economically feasible in tourist establishments.
There is a vital issue of defending small businesses on the island, he says, but economic concerns prevail.
He maintains that what tourists actually get is not an ensaimada but a kind of cake with a filling.
Foreign tourists are unable, therefore, to recognise a real ensaimada, and it is not only the hotels which are to blame in this regard. In Palma airport, rents charged by the airports authority AENA mean that retailers seek cheaper options, so making unfeasible the sale of craft-produced ensaimadas there.

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