We all have fantasies. It’s that dream you have of owning a vineyard and sipping wine all day in the south of France. It’s the far-fetched scenario you’ve conjured up of taking two ridiculously hot lesbians home from the bar who are, for some unexplainable reason, totally game for a ménage à trois with a man. It’s the former lover, current crush, or celebrity you think about on when you need just a little something to… how to put this delicately?… “help you cross the finish line.”
A reoccurring fantasy of mine involves a shack on the beach, white tank pulled over a wet bikini, hot sand enveloping my feet, beads of condensation forming on the chilled bottle of rosé, sweet-salty juices mixed with oil and lemon running down my forearms… Minds out of the gutters folks, obviously I’m talking about food. Were you seriously expecting a “Letters to Penthouse”-esque confession?
Lucky for me this particular fantasy of mine played out last month in Cala Torta, a beach on the northeastern point of Mallorca. And I have my fabulous friend and partner-in-crime, Sacha to thank for making it happen. Having spent many a summer in Mallorca, he was the one who directed us to this hidden treasure, just a couple miles outside the town of Arta.
My anticipation was immediately amplified when, upon arriving at the cove-like beach, we spotted two men cleaning fish of various sizes and shapes in the ocean 20 feet from a dusty blue chiringuito (stall, shack, open air restaurant). After an hour or so of swimming and hiking around the surrounding hills we agreed that we were sufficiently ravenous and grabbed a seat at a well-worn picnic table in the corner of the tiny open-air restaurant.
Since my hubby doesn’t eat fish (proof that marriages really can survive anything), Sacha and I split a mixed seafood platter. It was piled high with shrimp, langoustines, calamari, mussels, and two kinds of local fish. Everything was cooked a la plancha, (on a big metal plate) and smothered in a mixture of lemon, garlic, and herbs. We ate with our hands, which I believe only serves to magnify every moment of sheer dining pleasure. The langoustines were so sweet we ordered a second plate of them. My husband even got involved. Eating the bodies and handing off the heads for me to suck on (yeah, okay that might be a little weird for some of you. Don’t judge. They’re delicious).
By the end of the meal we were lightheaded from the wine and covered in juices from the fish. While Sacha demonstrated the effectiveness of using sand to remove unwanted oil, I chose the tried and proven method of jumping into the ocean. That afternoon I realized that the only thing I need to make my deepest desires a reality is a plane ticket to Spain and a friend who loves simple food just as much as I do.