The almond trees are in full bloom in Mallorca and they look absolutely stunning.
But it’s not just their beauty that’s important, 49.7% of the land dedicated to fruit trees in Mallorca is used to cultivate these precious nuts, according to illesbalearsqualitat.es.
The Archduke Lluís Salvador and several economists have devoted a lot of time to explaining this product and Mallorcan cook books are full of scrumptious recipes.
Thousands of years ago some varieties of wild almond contained deadly toxins like cyanogenic glycosides, which releases cyanide and was widely used by Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to kill enemies and traitors.
These days, almonds are a very nutritious dried fruit and have a wide variety of uses, including biomass fuel.
Jabón de Mallorca
Joaquim Pourqué used to work as a Hotel Manager in the Caribbean, the Alps and Marrakech before he and his wife settled in Soller.
"I didn’t like my life and I decided to make a change,” he says. “We came her in 2015 and my wife is in love with Soller.”
Joaquim started making natural soaps using the traditional method of cold saponification and as a result of that Jabón de Mallorca was born.
“Our philosophy is based on artisanal production with local raw materials like virgin olive oil from Soller, virgin sweet almond oil from Mallorca and plants from the Serra de Tramuntana," he explains. " It's all 100% natural and environmentally friendly with packaging that doesn't contain plastic and products that offer the best benefits for the skin.”
Joaquim also takes care of the commercialisation and distribution.
"Both residents and tourists are demanding more natural products.” he says.
Ametlla+ de Mallorca
In 2010, a group of five friends, including daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law, came together to transform almonds into something more contemporary.
"We don't have time to cook but we appreciate the taste of our grandmothers' recipes,” explains Maria del Mar Socias, who created Ametlla+ de Mallorca along with Dolça Feliu, Catalina Cañellas, Bàrbara Flaquer and Gemma Bes and they have two almond products:
“We have jars of almonds combined with other products that can be used for cooking traditional dishes and to give a touch of flavour to contemporary cuisine,” explains Socias.
“We also have a range of almonds that are battered with different ingredientsand are ideal as an appetiser or snack,” she adds. “We coat them with curry, Mallorcan tapir tapi, paprika, dried tomatoes and rosemary and many other things.”
On their website there are recipes and videos to inspire you to make exquisite, very healthy dishes quickly and creatively, just log on to https://ametllademallorca.com.
Ametlla+ de Mallorca's aim is to expand its product range, increase distribution in specialty stores and boost online sales, so they've updated their website in the hope of drawing international customers, especially in northern European countries.
Fet a Sóller
Fet a Sóller is extremely well-known in the world of gastronomy, but up until two years ago their main use for almonds was to make ice cream.
“At the end of 2017, the company bought a machine to make almond oil, which is not as suitable for cooking, but can be used as a condiment, explains Head of Quality & Development, Lluc Crespí, "and we also make a gluten-free and vegan spicy almond oil with the name Foc.”
Fet a Sóller is also making a spread and an almond cream.
"Almonds out of their traditional use are a difficult product because there is no tradition for consumption," says Crespí.
All Fet a Sóller’s own products plus the Jabón de Mallorca and Ametlla + products can be found at www.fetasoller.com.
Flor d’Ametler dates back 80 years, when Mallorca was a very different place than it is today.
One day when Bernardo Vallori was walking through the almond trees he couldn’t help but notice their fragrance and it reminded him that his mother and grandmother used to make their own perfume by macerating the delicate almond tree flowers, as well as rosemary, lavender, sage and mint, so he decided to make his own perfume, which is still available today.
Miquel Àngel Benito, a descendant of Bernardo Vallori, wanted to do something different and in 1976 he founded Tot Herba, which totally modernised Flor d’Ametler and the company now offers a variety of gels, shampoos, creams and hair, body and facial oils, as well as famous almond perfume.
"For the woman who has been captivated by the beauty of Mallorca, there is no better memory than ‘Flor d’Ametler’ because it is the essence of the Island."