(by Pablo Burgués)

There are many tasty things you can eat in the Balearic Islands, but undoubtedly the number 1 typical product of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca is the always-nice ensaimada.

For those of you who don’t know what is this, I’ll tell you that the ensaimada is a sort of cake with a dish aerial shape that is made of many eggs, much flour, much lard, much butter and much sugar, as if they were to be forbidden.

Perhaps you’ll ask yourself: Who was the randy creator of this wonderful ode to cholesterol? Well, there are diverse theories running around Internet, so if it’s all right with you I’ll tell you all of them and you can choose the one you like most. 

The ensaimada was created by the Jews. The Book of Exodus tells that the Jewish people were forced to wander about the desert for forty years. As at those times there was neither Telepizza nor Just Eat it had to be God himself who brought food everyday to those guys. To commemorate that miracle, every Saturday the Jews eat some sweet bread called challah, that according to them it’s the origin of the current ensaimada.

The Arabs were the ones who brought the ensaimada to the islands. This hypothesis is supported by two sound scientific arguments: one: this pastry has a turban shape (all power to the imagination!) and two: in the Muslim culture there is a dessert called bulema that has the same ingredients… Sincerely, I believe that somebody should tell these guys that the star of our ensaimada is lard, a product that is less Arab than a bacon scarf.

The ensaimada is Catalan. Those who support this philosophical school of thought state that the word ensaimada is a variant of the Catalan word saïm, which means lard. Thus, this food is Catalan and no hi ha més que parlar (there’s nothing else to say). I don’t want to remove the excitement of these guys, but with this same argument we could state that Usaim Bolt is from Cornellá. Yes, I know that the correct spelling is Usain and not Usaim, but as Cervantes said (and if he didn’t say it surely he thought it indeed): “don’t let the fucking orthography spoils a good joke”.

The ensaimada was created by George Lucas. Those who support this hypothesis say that the unequivocal proof are the two ensaimadas that appear in his film Star Wars, specifically over Princess Leia‘s ears. 

I have to say that considering these four theories for me this last one seems to be the most sensible. Nonetheless, I believe that George Lucas copied the idea from somebody that, in my opinion, is the real mother of hair ensaimada: the Lady of Elche.



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Translation: Dora Sales

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