When we first came to live in Mallorca, we soon noticed the ubiquitous presence of sheep, coupled with a noticeable absence of cows. As a consequence fresh milk and other dairy products were quite rare. Of course, later-on we came across the occasional dairy farm, but few and far between.
Milk and butter do not form a traditional part of the daily food intake in Mallorca. Milk is normally bought in its UHF packaged variety, usually imported from Asturias in the north of Spain, as is butter. Some cheese is produced locally, often blended with goat or sheep milk. In commercial quantities cheese is chiefly imported from the island of Menorca or again, from the North of Spain. The larger availability of cheese in Menorca is probably due to the neighbouring island’s British connection. There are more dairy cattle in Menorca than there are on the much larger island of Mallorca.
Over the last twenty or so years, the limited presence of cows has dwindled even further. I understand that grants were handed out from coffers in Brussels to do away with any surplus cow herds.
But where there are rules, there are exceptions. Now and then one can spot the occasional farm in the countryside with perhaps a dozen or so cows. And there are dairy farms with hundreds of cows like the one shown here, but not many of those remain.
A shame really, somehow.
The photo was taken near Vilafranca de Bonany, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 24th, 2009. The time was 17:20:35.