Mallorca’s Ensaïmada: The Spiralling Pastry in a Flaky Controversy

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Ensaïmada v Ryanair

The ensaïmada, a delightful spiral-shaped pastry hailing from the sunny shores of Mallorca, has found itself in the midst of a pastry-perfect storm. From its medieval origins to a tussle with Ryanair over baggage fees, this cherished delicacy has taken centre stage in recent weeks. Join us as we unravel the doughy drama, from airport indulgences to a clash between airlines and pastry-makers. It’s a tale of taste, travel, and a fight for pastry fairness!

From ancient origins to modern delight

The ensaïmada’s story stretches back through the annals of time, tracing its heritage to the Middle Ages. Made from a simple yet divine combination of flour, sugar, water, eggs, and the rich flavour of pork fat known as saïm, this pastry bears the mark of tradition and local craftsmanship.

The sweet souvenir sensation

When travellers flock to Mallorca, they fall in love with more than just sandy beaches and azure waters. The ensaïmada has won the hearts of tourists who yearn to take a piece of this paradise home. Soft and delicate, these buns have become the ultimate edible souvenir, symbolizing the island’s culinary heritage and preserving memories in every sweet bite.

Pastry extravaganza at Palma Airport

Palma Airport knows how to cater to the cravings of travellers. Numerous shops within the terminal proudly display ensaïmadas in their signature octagonal boxes, tempting passengers to take a piece of Mallorca’s culinary heritage with them. However, as with many things sold within airport walls, these pastries come at a premium. Those purchasing their sweet souvenirs at the departure gate must be prepared to dig a little deeper into their pockets.

Ryanair’s pastry controversy

While Ryanair allows passengers to take onboard ensaïmadas bought at the airport’s duty-free shops, this privilege does not extend to pastries purchased in bakeries outside the airport premises. In a recent move, the airline attempted to charge passengers an additional €45 (£39) to bring the buns onboard as hand luggage. Ryanair argued that the ensaïmadas exceeded their cabin baggage limits, causing a wave of pastry-related outrage.

Fury, meetings, and the hope for a sweet solution

As the news spread, the islands’ pastry-makers association erupted in anger, denouncing the discrimination against ensaïmada suppliers outside Palma Airport. The government of the Balearic Islands swiftly intervened, calling for an urgent meeting with Ryanair and the pastry makers association to rectify the situation. With tourism minister Iago Negueruela leading the charge, hopes are high for a swift resolution and a return to pastry peace.


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