The prawns are back in town!
There's been a crisis in a couple of Mallorca's economic sectors over the last month which has suddenly – as if by magic – lifted this week. The island's gourmet restaurants and the fishermen of the Tramuntana region from Soller to Andratx have been both mystified and perplexed by the sudden disappearance of one of summer's staples, the Soller Red Prawn from the seas.
Throughout the summer both industries can normally set their calendar by the appearance of the deliciously sweet and juice prawns, which really are redder than their somewhat more ordinary crustacean relatives. In fact the prawns bring about 80% of the fishing industry's income at this time of year, and top chefs eagerly buy up as many of the tasty delicacies as they can for a voracious clientele.
However, suddenly this summer, the prawns upped and left, and nobody knows why! There was much weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth and a gamut of sackcloth and ashes of biblical proportions whilst theories as to why the prawns had done a moonlight flit abounded. Water from the cold Atlantic had rushed into the Med, an earthquake near Valencia, a build of of sediment were all credible propositions, but didn't bring the prawns back.
Anyway, the good news is that as suddenly as they left, they have reappeared. The fishing boats are now bringing back catches of between 20 and 50 kilos, not as much as normal, but much better than the catches of zero kilos a few weeks back! The area's fishermen are said to be 'relieved and happy' about this and who can blame them?
So now we can all look forward to platefuls of delicious prawns, beloved of both local chefs and their foreign celebrity counterparts like Yotam Ottolenghi who featured them large on his recent TV programme 'Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Island Feast' and Jamie Oliver who was moved to describe them on Instagram (photo) as “Some if the best prawns I’ve had from the Port of Soller in Majorca.” “I got them straight from the boat super fresh….yum”.