Menorca’s local delicacies include freshly grown produce from the island, local beef, lamb, pork and fish, as well as speciality products that are also made on the island.
Here are some recommendations for what to try whilst you are in Menorca.
Mahon-Menorca Cheese – Formatge D.O.P Maó-Menorca
Menorca is recognised with its own Designation of Origin for the cheese on the island made through the traditional handmade process. There are two different types one made from pastured milk, the other unpastured milk, and comes in three levels of maturation: Tender, Semi Cured and Vintage. As cheese is a recognised hand made local product there are numerous farms that produce their own cheeses and sell direct to the public. All supermarkets and specialty shops will sell various cheeses from various farms. The joy comes in trying them all to see which one you like.
Milk & Eggs – Llet i Ous
You can buy local when it comes to milk and eggs as well, local supplier Coinga delivers to the whole island fresh pasturised and long life milk and most supermarkets will also supply locally farmed eggs.
Cured Meats – Embotits
Menorca is famous for its own cured pork meats and products including Sobrassada (similar to chorizo made with sweet paprika and eaten raw or cooked), Cuixot, Butifarra Blanc y Negre (types of sausage made from pork and herbs), Salchichon (similar to salami). These type of products are often eaten cold with bread or used to flavour all kinds of sauces and plates in restaurants.
Fresh fruit and vegetables – Fruita i Verdura
So much choice of fresh fruit and vegetables and many shops support local farms with their stock. Choose your fruit and vegetable based on what is in season and enjoy the simplest pleasure of eating healthily. Late spring and summer you can try local fruit like Nispres, which are the size and texture of plums and a cross between them and peaches. Or in autumn try the wild mushrooms of Menorca, Esclata-sangs, lightly fried in olive oil paprika and parsley.
Honey & Jams – Mel y Mermelada
Thanks to the wide range of flora on the island, honey is a speciality of Menorca and is highly recommended to try. Jams or Marmalades are also often homemade using seasonal fruits and preserved for use all year. Again you can check for locally made jams and honey in the supermarkets around the island.
Sweets and Turron – Caramelos, Chuches i Turró
Hard boiled sweets made from sugar syrup, honey, fruit, aniseed and eucalyptus are made in Menorca as well as other soft sweets like licorice, marshmallows and chewy jelly sweets for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Ice Cream – Gelat
Homemade icecream in traditional ice creams shops can be found in the town centres around the island and in tubs in some supermarkets as well. Similar in consistancy and flavour to the internationally famous italian gelato, its a special treat you could shout yourself once a day to try every flavour. Lookout for tubs in shops, where you will also find the Menorquín ice-cream brand also known as Kalise. This is an icecream brand that originated on the island and has expanded nationally. They still produce their original product sold in a small tub called Nata Montada which is literally iced whipped cream. A must try… so simple yet LUSH!
Savory & Sweet Bakery Treats – Panderia
The range of typical baked products found in bread and cake shops accross the island is the result of the influences of various ruling cultures in Menorca’s history. There are so many to choose from and the best way to discover the variety is to discover them for yourself.
Traditional savory baked treats include…
Cocas – square and a cross between pizza bread and pastry and topped with various vegetables
Rubiols – small half moon shaped pie pastry stuffed with either tuna or vegetables
Formatjades – round pies with either diced beef or pork meat
Panets – Small baked bread rolls stuffed with either sobrasada or ham and cheese… sometimes chocolate
Sweet baked treats are many, but the most common are…
Emsaimadas – Similar pastry to croissants, round in shape and dusted with icing sugar
Pastissets – Shortbread like biscuits traditionally in flower shape also dusted wth icing sugar
Mitjallunes – Half moons similar to doughnuts baked with sugared egg yolk icing over the top
Formatjades de Requesón – sweet pie baked with ricotta cheese and cinnamon
Wine – Vi de Menorca
Menorca has received its own geografical indication for locally grown and produced wines called Vi de la Terra Illa de Menorca that recognises the specific types of wines made on the island. There are 5 wineries or bodegas registered under this name and most of these bodegas can be visited directly to purchase or supplied to most supermarkets. These include
Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Monestrell, Tempranillo and Syrah
Whites: Chardonnay, Macabeo, Malvasia, Moscatell, Parellada and Moll
Gin, Liquors and Beer – Gin, Licors y Cerveza
Menorca is most famous for its Gin, brought to the island by the British but then locally made with its own recipe distinct to Menorca. There are also many licors made on the island, one traditional to the Balearic Islands is the aniseed flavourd Hierbas which comes in dry, mixed or sweet and served with ice after dinner. The most recent addition to the beverages of the island is the creation of Illa, a Menorcan made beer which is produced in Ciutadella. You can also find homemade local & international beers at ‘Sa Bona Birra’.