Variat is a combination of typical dishes in Mallorcan cuisine. It delights both locals and visitors to the island wanting to taste more traditional flavours. The unique nature of this dish lies in its combination of different helpings that mix flavours and textures in one greixonera or bowl.
It is very common to walk into a bar and find a display of dishes that might include Mallorcan fry-up, meatballs, pica-pica, cuttlefish in sauce, Russian salad, croquettes, squid and a long list of others depending on the specific bar, area or town. Each establishment offers a different range of dishes and specialities.
You’ll probably have no idea about this dish if you’re not from Mallorca, so definitely ask for advice from the person taking your order. This dish can be enjoyed at any time, as an aperitif, a snack or even for dinner, but be warned that it’s not really suitable for someone with a delicate stomach.
Generally speaking, this dish consists of the stewed items on the bottom, which could be tongue, meatballs, cuttlefish in sauce or pica-pica. Everyone can choose what they want. The Mallorcan fry-up is then added to this selection. A serving of Russian salad is placed on the top of all this. As a final touch, as if it were the icing on the cake, the dish is topped off with croquettes or battered squid. It should be stressed that everyone can choose whatever they want to be on their plate.
The true origins of this dish are relatively unknown. However, it is known that due to the tourism boom in the 1950s and 1960s bar owners saw the need to combine several different tapas on a single plate so that tourists could try all the delicacies of Mallorca in one dish.
A good variat
It is common to see locals in Mallorca at des berenar – the time between finishing
breakfast and starting lunch at midday, that the English call Brunch – enjoying a good variat. This type of gastronomy becomes the standard at Friday lunchtimes and weekends.
You can often find yourself on a terrace with a group of friends or family spending time together with a good variat. Some locals even go searching for the best variats on the island because every establishment has its own specialities. And because every variat is unique. Its huge popularity among locals is due to the fact that everyone can pick their own ingredients.
We recommend accompanying this dish with a few slices of good Mallorcan brown bread (a dark, dense, salt-free bread) and some good olives trencades. These olives are a green variety from Mallorca that are traditionally split and crushed, hence the cut that gives them their name.
Are you ready to taste your creation?
If you’re thinking about a visit to the Balearic Islands, discover your hotel in Mallorca and experience a holiday surrounded by the sea and mountains. Everyone falls in love with Mallorca. It is home to countless unique locations: the incredible Serra de Tramuntana mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site; its beaches and salt flats; its impeccable turquoise water that is always calm; its valleys full of orange trees; its olive groves; and its small seaside towns
that still look out to the sea every day.