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Menorca is an island rich with local fresh ingredients and delicious cuisine.
The Balearic islands to the east of mainland Spain have had a long history of fresh local cuisine and are an ideal place to explore on a culinary adventure.
We take groups every summer on yoga retreats to Menorca island and have scoped out our favorite dishes and local specialties. From savory pastries and sweets, to seafood plates and vegetarian dishes, there’s something for everyone. We’ve picked three of our favorite foods that are typical to Menorca, but there are plenty more!
3 of our favorite foods to eat in Menorca:
Mahon Cheese, or Queso de Mahón as it’s known in Spain, comes from Menorca and is famous all over Spain and has been enjoyed all around the Mediterranean for years. It has a wonderful flavor – quite sharp and buttery, slightly salty, aromatic and nutty.
There are different types of Queso de Mahón depending on how it has been aged. The young cheese has a relatively mild flavor and a soft, elastic texture; the semi-cured cheese has a flakier texture, while the cured cheese has firm texture and has a more intense flavor, similar to a parmesan cheese.
Menorcans have been making cheese for millenniums, historians have found ceramic chards on the island dating back 3000 years. It was distributed and exported extensively starting around the 13th century, taking its name from the island’s capital Mahon, and grew in popularity when the British took control of the island and began promoting it widely. You can find it quite easily in delis and most supermarkets in Menorca.
Spanish Lobster Stew
Caldereta de Langosta is a rich and flavorful Spanish lobster stew made with all natural ingredients including fresh lobster, stock, tomato, onion, garlic, parsley, olive oil and thin sundried slices of bread.
It gets its name from the pot that it is cooked in – ‘caldera’ in Spanish. It was originally a dish favored by local fisherman who made the stew with parts of broken lobster that they found while fishing, but soon became a favorite dish with all Menorcans. It’s now considered quite a lavish dish prepared on special occasions.
In the small charming town of Fornells in northern Menorca, there are a handful of restaurants which prepare is flawlessly. One of these is the low-key restaurant of Es Cranc, often fully-booked and a must stop on any tourist list. You can find people from all over styling their bibs at the large outdoor tables enjoying the famous stew. The Spanish royal family is also known to venture here often for this specialty (perhaps without the bibs).
Be sure to visit Fornells in the spring and summer, as this is when the stew is served, since lobsters in Menorca are protected and are only fished between March and August.
Tumbet is a vegetarian dream. It’s a simple dish made with sliced vegetables – a medley of peppers, eggplants, potatoes, onions and zucchini, gently fried, then stacked and topped with tomato sauce. It’s then heated in the oven where all the ingredients come together to form a delicious mountain of pure freshness.
The secret lies in the quality of the ingredients, and Menorca has some of the freshest vegetables in the Mediterranean. So if you’re in Menorca, this dish is definitely worth a try!
You can find Tumbet on most menus in restaurants in Menorca, sometimes it’s served as a main dish on its own, while other times people enjoy it as a side dish to a fish or meat entrée.
Join us on a yoga retreat in Menorca Spain:
Come with us on a yoga retreat in Menorca and we’ll take you to delicious restaurants where you can try some of these local Spanish specialities, as well as many more to explore. We’ll be hosting two yoga weeks in Menorca in 2017:
17-24 June 2017
2-9 September 2017
All the details about the yoga retreat can be found here on the Spain yoga retreat page.
Yoga Escapes organizes luxury yoga holidays in beautiful places around the world, offering a mix of Vinyasa and restorative yoga classes. Contact the Yoga Escapes team for info on upcoming yoga holidays or visit their website.