I have told you about olives before, and the delights of Mallorcan olive oil. But olives are food in Mallorca as well, and in particular the oliva trencada, the crushed and split olive. If one hasn’t got one’s own olive trees, one would buy fresh olives in the market and have them crushed there and then in a crushing device like the one shown in my photo. Olivas trencadas are green olives with an added stalk of fennel and a lemon leaf, soaked in a brine of salt. Quite good really, but, a wee bit bitter. My personal preference is a black Aragonese olive grown in Mallorca and prepared as an aceituna. Yummy. Once you eat one of those, you can’t stop nibbling.
I have just finished reading a great little book on the subject of pa amb oli, olives, olive oil and other related Mallorcan food stuff, written by Tomás Graves, the youngest son of Robert Graves and Beryl Hodge né Pritchard. He was born in Mallorca and he is a true Mallorquín. I thoroughly enjoyed his cheerful descriptions and recommend a read of this little gem of a book. It is called Bread & Oil (available in hardbound and in paperback), or Volem pa amb oli in Catalan. Curiously, it is translated neither into Castellano nor German.
There is also a lovely book called Wild Olives (Bajo la sombra del olivo in Castellano), written by William, the oldest brother of Tomás from the same marriage. This book not only presents Robert Graves from a different angle than usual, but it gives at the same time wonderful insights into life on this Mediterranean island in the Fifties and Sixties, and it is full of good descriptions of Mallorcan customs and traditions. With this book, no translations into Catalan or German are available.
The books of both brothers, Tomás Graves and William Graves, make excellent Christmas presents for lovers of Mallorcan life, the way it used to be before we came here.
The photo was taken in Maria de la Salut, Mallorca, Spain. The date: September 28th, 2008. The time was 13:09:24.