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Balearic Island Sailing day trip from Mallorca to Menorca
While visiting the Island of Mallorca why not take a spectacular private sailing day trip over to Menorca.....Read more...Tours in The Balearic Islands

The Cuisine of Menorca   by Brenda Jaaback

Menorca Hotels / Menorca Self-Catering / Holiday Rentals / Return to Travel Guide

Blessed with outstanding weather, ringed by a stunning coastline, and dotted with hotels and villas, Menorca is understandably a superb beach holiday destination. But there's more to do here than just lying on the beach; the island has a distinctive culture and character that is a far cry from the tourist flooded islands of Ibiza and Mallorca. The cuisine, in particular, is likely to be greatly appreciated by visitors to the island. It is an exciting blend of traditional island dishes and colonial foodstuffs - here are a few of the Menorcan specialities to look out for…
An intriguing beverage to whet your appetite…

Native Menorcans enjoy a wide range of wines, spirits and liqueurs, with the diversity a reflection of the islands mixed cultural heritage. The national passion for gin is a hangover from the period of British rule in the 18th century, when garrisoned sailors would demand it when off duty (or when about to go on duty!) There was no gin on the island, but ingenious Menorcans brewed their own, combining native wines with juniper berries to create a distinct and unique drink. The gin you'll enjoy on holiday in Menorca is now known as Gin Xoriguer, best enjoyed with soda and lemon peel (known as pellofa) or lemonade (pomade).

Other drinks to try include the excellent local wine, Frigola (a thyme liqueur) and the very sweet Malmsey wine which used to be produced in great quantities and has seen a recent revival on the island - the perfect drink to enjoy while relaxing by the pool in your Menorca villa.

Harbour, Mao', Minorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, Mediterranean
Harbour, Mao', Minorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Buy at
Turquoise Waters at Marcarella, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Turquoise Waters at Marcarella
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A hearty main course…

As befits an island nation, seafood is the principal food of Menorca. Sole, sea bass, mussels and prawns are all common elements of main courses on the island but the truly classic dish is lobster stew. If you are on holiday in Menorca, head to Fornells in the north of the island - the King of Spain makes regular visits to the town just to sample its famous lobster stew, the best on the island.

As a starter to your meal, it is worth trying out the local Mahon cheese, a hard cheddar like cheese with a sharp, lemony flavour.

Something sweet to finish with…

If you have a sweet tooth, you'll have plenty to enjoy on a holiday to Menorca. The locals love their sweets and pastries, and amongst the many choices are carquinyols (almond macaroons) and ensaimada (spiral pastries made from lard and sugar.) The island also has its own kind of ice cream, la Menorquina, which is renowned throughout Spain for its smooth, creamy taste.

And a condiment you wouldn't want to be without…

Menorca also lays claim to being the home of one of the most common and beloved condiments in the world - mayonnaise, believed by some to be named after its city of origin, Mahon. There are numerous local stories about how the sauce first came about, most revolving around the Duke of Richelieu (who took control of the island in the 18th century); some say it was an improvised sauce prepared by his chef, others that it was a gift to him from a lover who lived in Mahon - a mahonesa. The truth of the matter will never be known, but if you go on a holiday to Menorca, make sure to try out some of the Duke's favourite sauce!

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About the Author - Brenda Jaaback is the Managing Director of Bartle Holidays. They can provide you a choice of hand picked Menorca villas, resorts and retreats in prime locations for all your family holiday needs.


Latest update: June 25, 2013