Delicious ensaimadas and other tasy delicacies are front and centre at the Majorca Gastronomy Carnival which is also known as Dijous Llarder.
This traditional celebration has been handed down through the generations and this Thursday bakeries will be heaving with ensaimadas containing coconut and other delicious flavours that are typical of carnival cuisine.
The writer Bulletin's resident historian Miquel Ferrá i Martorell, who’s a great connoisseur of Majorcan folk culture, says “lardero Thursday is always celebrated one week before Ash Wednesday and is a feast that dates back to Roman times. They called it saturnal in ancient Rome in honour of the God of Saturn, which is why saturnal is synonymous with orgy or bacchanal. The name lardero comes from the Latin word, lardum, which means bacon or tallow. Its meaning in Christianity was that pork, fat and charcuterie could be eaten before the start of Lent. "
Bakeries now sell ensaimadas with all kinds of ingredients and they’re made throughout the year, although according to the La Mallorquina pastry chef, Pep Servera, “production increases a lot more on Carnival days.”
Silvia Rodríguez from Ca na Teresa in Mercat de l’Olivar, agrees.
"We started selling them at the beginning of the month and there are so many people that come on Llarder Thursday for ensaimadas, that we decorate with colourful squash,” she says.
The owner of Reina María Cristina Margalida Serra bakery says business is always brisk ahead of the celebrations.
“We make ensaimadas all year, but during Carnival week we sell much, much more,” he says, adding, “groups of friends, office workers and a lot of people who follow the Llarder Thursday tradition come looking for the ensaimadas, the sobrasada sweet cake, squash and butifarrón and pork fat is also in high demand these days. "