The very able Mallorcan country folk have created fairs and markets for just about everything Mallorcan one can think of: wine, sobrassada, olive oil, horses, honey, shoes, botifarrons, dogs, mushrooms, matances, partridges, sípias, clay pots, chicken, snails, stone walls, cows, herbs, llampugas, melons, potatoes, pumpkins, red pepper, figs, you name it. You might be forgiven for wondering why there never was a Fira for almonds.
But you would be wrong. There now is a Fira de la Flor de l’Ametler, in Son Servera. The first Mallorcan almond fair was held yesterday in the splendid grounds of an impressive Agroturisme, the Cases de Ca s’Hereu. It is said that approximately 5,000,000 almond trees are now either in full blossom or about to bloom any day soon. It is also said that the almond remains one of the primary agricultural crops on Mallorca together with the olive and the algarroba. Much of the local cuisine takes full advantage of the nut, especially now in springtime, with a range of dishes from almond soup, rabbit, chicken or fish cooked in almonds, to ice cream, cake, gató, tarts, turrón, marzipan, biscuits and almond milk. Sadly, yesterday’s do in Son Servera did not make much of all the culinary treats of this wonderful kernel. One might say that the whole presentation was a bit of a let-down. One might even say that the low-key exhibition was perhaps indicative of the crisis that the Mallorcan almond trade seems to be subjected to right now, with the problems of the almond pest, the low wholesale prices, the generational obstacle of succession and whatever else there might be, all rolled into one big uphill struggle.
I would say that the Mallorcan almond deserves better. Let’s hope for a much improved fira this time next year.
The photo (top) was taken in Son Servera, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 7th, 2010. The time was 12:39:28.