James Beard Publication of the Year 2017

Unless You’re in Mallorca Right Now You May Want to Skip This One

Unless You’re in Mallorca Right Now You May Want to Skip This One

Damm Lemon in Mallorca

Five o’clock may signal the end of the work day in many offices, but as a temporary transplant to my company’s Palma de Mallorca outpost, I have managed to make my work day shrink a little by adopting the local convention of balancing work time with beach time. By 5 p.m., I’m usually on the beach already.

It’s become my low-cost, post-work ritual: hitting the beach with my my tote bag, loaded with swimwear, a towel, a book, two beers, plus a can of seafood and a toothpick to eat it with.

This evening, our first stop is the office fridge. My colleague and I reach for our ration of beers, tucking them into our shoulder bags. This time, two Damm Lemons, the local answer to a shandy or Radler.

Spanish Carrefour is the ultimate pre-beach stop for snacks you can eat while lounging horizontally. We run into the nearest branch and make a bee-line for the Conservas de Pescado y Marisco aisle—an impressive array of canned fruits of the sea that spans multiple shelves and a fridge for fancy chilled anchovies and tuna.

I’m a kid in a saline candy store. Mussels in red sauce. Clams al natural. Scallops in marinara sauce. Cuttlefish in its own ink. Carrefour’s house brand is more than sufficient, and I pick one of each of the above. My co-worker, concerned about my daily sodium intake, makes me put two tins back.

As we get near the beach, we walk happily against the flow of the day’s sun-seekers as they head in the opposite direction. We lay down out towels and immediately unpack the snacks. I crack back the lid from the tin of cuttlefish as my coworker opens the beers with a satisfying hiss.

It’s a mystical time of day. The sun softens, the golden light carving definition into the cliffs around the beach and transforming the water into bevelled glass. Here’s to another aperitivo on the beach.

Carrefour – Porto Pi
Avinguda de Gabriel Roca, 54, Palma de Mallorca
9:00 to 22:00 Monday to Friday

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