Although we cannot remember much from our first years of life there are some smells and tastes that instantly trigger early childhood memories. A hot chocolate always makes me feel like a little girl again, warm and loved. There is one place in Palma that instantly recalls this memory – Can Joan de S’Aigo, the wonderful traditional chocolateria in Sa Gerreria.
Can Joan is a unique microcosmos. Neighbours meet for a coffee, young couples for a date, families get together with their kids, and sometimes even travelers find their way in there. This time of the year, a hot chocolate and an ensaimada con albaricoque (to be dipped into the chocolate) are my favorites. Or maybe a piece of almond cake with a ball of vanilla-ice cream? Can Joan’s ice creams definitely belong to the best in Palma, particularly the fruit sorbets. On a Saturday afternoon, people are queuing onto the streets for a take-away ice-cream or a couple of ensaimadas that they carry home in big boxes. Those of you who prefer savoury snacks will surely like Joan’s cocas.
If you don’t know your way around this part of Palma, you might have a hard time finding Can Joan de S’Aigo. Ever so often people who wander around Sa Gerreria are helplessly staring into their maps or smart phones, looking for narrow Carrer Can Sanc. No tour guide who shows „the oldest chocolateria of the island“ to a group of tourists forgets to mention that the tiles inside the café go back as far as 1700. What most of them don’t tell though is the story of how Joan got his name: He had water (Mallorqui: aigo) grants and brought frozen water from the mountains to the people in Palma so they could cool their food. Sort of an early 18th-century start-up, that only later became the chocolateria as we know it today.
There is a second Can Joan de S’Aigo near C/ Jaime III, which is a little different.