Food and drink in Menorca

The traditional cuisine of Menorca is a clear reflection of both it's history and island status. Fresh seafood is plentiful, but so also are some superb dairy products that reflect the British introduction of Friesian cattle to Menorca in the 18th century. Although the introduction of tourism has made mainland Spanish and international food widely available, all visitors should enjoy the real flavour of Menorca.

Seafood Specialities

Caldereta de Llagosta (lobster stew)

Seafood is an unsurprising favourite on any island: prawns, mussels, squid, mullet, sole and sea-bass are all abundant in Menorca. However the island is famed for caldereta de llagosta, a lobster stew once prepared simply by local fishermen on their boats.

This dish has become a true speciality and it is said that King Juan Carlos travels from Mallorca to Fornells just to eat the excellent lobster.

Mahon Cheese

Mahon Cheese

Although cheese has been produced in Menorca for centuries, in 1985 it was given it's own Denomination of Origin. Mahon Cheese is produced across the island to strict standards and is incredibly popular across Spain. It is characterised by a square shape with an oily yellow rind and comes in a variety of types, depending on their maturity, some of which are cured for up to two years.

Ice Cream and Desserts

Menorcans have a very sweet tooth and produce an array of pastries and desserts. If you have nothing else, be sure to try the almond macaroons (carquinyols) or enjoy morning coffee with an ensaimada - a fluffy spiral pastry made with lard and sugar.

Menorcans also have their own ice cream from Alaior - La Menorquina. Its smooth, creamy taste is highly popular and is now sold throughout Spain.

Gin Xoriguer

Gin Xoriguer

Commercial production of gin in Menorca began in the 18th century, stimulated by demand from British sailors. Xoriguer is the last remaining distillery on the island, whose gin is still sold in traditional earthenware bottles.

The gin is unlike British gin (NOT recommended with tonic), more akin to the Dutch version. It is traditionally drunk neat, with herbes (a locally made liquer) or with lemonade to make a pomada.

Traditional Pomada Recipe:

Pomada represents the real flavour of Menorcan fiestas and is a delightful drink in the heat of the summer fesitivities. It's widely sold from stalls and bars during every fiesta (although savvy locals mix their own and bring it along).

How to make a Pomada...

  1. Buy a bottle of Gin Xoriguer (widely available in Menorca)
  2. Take a 200cl long glass (aka a highballer)
  3. Fill the glass with ice
  4. Pour in 1 part gin / 3 parts lemonade
  5. Top with a slice of lemon
  6. Consume, enjoy then repeat

(If you like something stronger, try 1 part gin / 1 part ice cold lemonade.)

see also...

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