Typical Menorcan Cuisine can be found on the menu of many restaurants in all parts of the island. There are restaurants thats specialize in local dishes, grilled meat, combined plates or fish and seafood. There are some excellent pizzerias and restaurants with homemade pasta on the menu as well.
Here are a few recommendations to look out for which are typical local dishes.
A few starters & sides…
Escalivada – Roasted vegetables including red and green pepper, aubergine and onion in olive oil served on toasted bread or sometimes with a touch of something different, like in a stack with goats cheese or on a pizza.
Tumbet - Diced or sliced fresh potatoes with vegetables inclding aubergines, red or green pepper, onion, garlic and bay leaves lightly fried in oil till slightly crispy
Mejillones a la plancha – Local rock mussells cooked on the grill and drissled in olive oil, sometimes with fresh garlic and parsley
Chiperones – Fried baby squid lightly tossed in flour and served with mayonnaise and a slice of lemon on the side
A few main courses…
Caldereta de Langosta – Menorca’s famous Lobster Stew dish that originated on the island and is served fresh in the best restaurants in each town. Highly recommended for a nice long lunch followed by a siesta.
Oliaigu – Another classic Menorcan dish for the summer, the name means oil and water. Its a delcious soup made with a traditional sofrito base of fresh tomatoes, green pepper, onions, garlic, olive oil, salt and water. Served with thin slices of toasted bread and ripe figs.
Arroz caldos amb peix – Fish and Rice Stew made with fresh fish local to Menorca such as Serrano or Comber in English. These type of rice stews are delicious and a favourite on Menorca are made with any kind of fish or seafood.
Paella o Fidua - Paella in Menorca is traditionally made with rice, meat and seafood mixed or rice and seafood. Any specialist rice houses known as Arrocerias will also offer various options of Fidua which is cooking the same dish with short noodles instead of rice. Some variations include with clams only, with calamar and its sauce or even with chicken on its own is delicious.
Carn a la brasa – Simple tasty food at its best. Menorcans love a good barbeque and if you are less adventurous with your food choices then you will be rewarded by sticking to locally farmed meat on the grill. You can’t go past a beef steak or some Menorcan pork or lamb chops. The meat in Menorca is particularly flavoursome due to the wind carrying the sea salt into the fields where the animals graze.
Peix o Marisc a la plancha – For fish and seafood lovers, there is nothing better than the catch of the day fished straight from the mediterranean cooked by a local chef and served by the sea. For the most decadent meal ask for a mixed grilled seafood and fish platter for two with a chilled bottle of wine. You won’t regret it or forget it.
Cabrit o Lechona es forn - Roast Kid (Goat) or Suckling Pig. If you enjoy a good sunday roast then you will definitely like either of these two. Traditionally cooked in a wood fire oven the Roast Kid, known as Cabrito is a leg served with gravy and potatoes where the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. Lechona or Suckling Pig is also always on the menu at any restautant that has a good wood fire oven and an excellent pizza menu.
A few desserts…
Crema Catalana – Very similar to Crème Brûlée with a custard base and burnt sugar on the top, often homemade in many restaurants. Tip you can also try the Crema Catalana licor over ice as a dessert alternative.
Flan Casera – Similar to Crème Caramel and known as homemade egg flan with liquid caramel. Most restaurants will advertise this if it is a speciality.
Gelat – Most towns in Menorca have home made ice cream shops or you can buy tubs of some local brands in the supermarkets. Gelat, is the Menorcan version of the italian gelato, and is just as delicious. So good you could eat one every day. Highly recommeded also are the sorbets… particularly blackberry Mora, lemon Limon, or manderine Manderina.
Pastel o Pastelitos – Cakes in Menorca are not just cakes, they are pastels and are rich and layerd with mixes sponge, mousse, cream, custard, meringue and chocolate. The various combinations are hard to resist and come in large cake size right down to a multi tray of bite size treats.
These are some classic Menorcan dishes to look out for, but we recommend you be adventurous and try something new!