An orange orgy in Orange County
The Soller Valley is slightly more orange than normal during the next couple of weeks as the island's main citrus fruit producing area promotes its most famous export in a 16 day gastronomic orgy of oranges!
If you remember, Soller's oranges are so famous, and were once the mainstay of the area's economy when because of the almost impenetrable barrier of the Tramuntana mountains, most of the trade went to France by sea rather than cross the mountains by donkey. It is said that the Sun King Louis XIV would eat no other oranges than those from Soller.
These days, with handy tunnels through the Tramuntana for road and rail, tourism is probably more important than oranges, but they still play a big part in the local economy where they are used to make liqueur, ice-cream, marmalade and of course OJ. They also play a big part in the area's gastronomy and tourist bosses are out to demonstrate this with the 10th annual Orange Fest starting today, 10th June and going on until the 25th.
The main part of the festival is a gastronomy section where 20 restaurants in Soller, Puerto de Soller and Fornalutx have special three course menus featuring lots of orange recipes in the starters, mains and desserts for only €20! If this wasn't good enough, the organisers have arranged a special ticket on the famous Palma to Soller train, and tram down to the port which gets you a meal and travel for only €33 – an absolute bargain.
Now as well as the restaurants there are gastro/musical shindigs laid on in Soller's main square where on Saturday 11th there's a tapas and pinchos route followed by live music from 20:00 and the following day from 10:00 there's a craft and gastro market with show-cooking and folk dancing, while Fornalutx has a Gin and Tonic comp followed by a Blues band on the 17th at 20:00.
To make life easier for us all, there's a handy PDF in four languages to guide us through the restaurants and menus on offer. Have a great time if you decide to go!