Fluffy and pleasantly sweet, mallorcas travel well across breakfast cultures. Originally called ensaïmadas, they were first documented in the late 18th century—though they likely had been made for centuries before that—when a Franciscan friar began collecting and recording a number of recipes from the Balearic Islands, the eastern Spanish archipelago that includes Mallorca. As he noted, bakers there would roll out the yeasted, enriched dough; spread it with lard (called saïm in Catalan, from which the bread’s original name derives); shape it into its signature coil; and bake it until risen and golden. According to Tomeu Arbona, owner of El Fornet de la Soca bakery in Palma, Mallorca, the bread’s first bakers were likely Sephardic Jews. “Ensaïmadas were originally a sweet bread for the Sabbath,” he says, “similar to what we would now call challah.” While he earliest ones were likely made using kosher butter or oil, there are records of Jews switching to baking with lard—decidedly against their beliefs—during the massacres and persecution led by the Catholic church in the 14th and 15th centuries. While many Jews continued to practice their faith in secret, some of these conversos cooked with lard to convince the church of their loyalty.