Guest Post by Tom Bourlet.
Menorca’s cuisine is a blend of classic Spanish dishes and foods absorbed through two thousand years of international influence.
So there’s certainly no shortage of great food to try in Menorca, and while real home cooking has reduced in popularity in response to busier lifestyles, in recent years efforts have been made to reintroduce more traditional Menorcan dishes to the island’s restaurants.
And since traditional Menorcan food is healthy and full of rich flavours, visitors – even those on all inclusive holidays to Menorca – should make dining out and trying the local food a holiday priority.
Food Fit For A King
But Menorca’s most famous dish is caldereta de llagosta – a lobster stew so highly regarded that it’s rumoured Spain’s King Juan Carlos visits the island just to eat this meal.
Sweets For Breakfast
And so on to pastries and desserts: particularly popular across Spain are ensaimadas, a sweet spiral pastry topped with icing sugar and often taken with hot chocolate for breakfast.
Cakes flavoured with almonds or toasted nougat and carquinyols – almond macaroons – are available wherever you go, and if it’s cold and refreshing you crave to complete a Menorcan meal, then La Menorquina is a locally produced and particularly creamy ice cream.
The agricultural produce is just as delicious, and the traditional Menorcan farms which supply most of the island’s restaurants breed free range calves, lambs, pigs, chickens, turkeys and capons.
The resulting meat dishes pack a lot of fantastic flavour, with sobrasada – pork sausage flavoured with peppers – and cuixa – black sausages with fennel – the best known among them.
Olives and peppers feature on every traditional Menorcan menu. Tumbet is a popular baked vegetable meal, made from local potatoes, peppers and aubergines and available as a vegetarian dish or with fish or meat.
In fact aubergines are a Menorca speciality, cooked in a variety of ways.
Other great Spanish food to try are and clams – escopinyes – either baked in breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley or served raw with lemon, and Paella – probably Spain’s most famous culinary export, and a dish the locals take particular pride in perfecting.
The Invention On Mayonnaise
It will surprise many first-time Menorca holiday-makers that mayonnaise is believed to have been invented here in the 18th century in Maó and locals will tell you it’s best when made with the island’s own eggs and olive oil.
The cheeses too are particularly flavoursome, particularly Mahon, which comes in different strengths depending on the length of time spent curing.
What are some of your favorite Spanish dishes?