With a prime position amidst the warm, bountiful Mediterranean Sea, it's no surprise that the lovely Balearic island of Menorca has a rich tradition of making the most of seafood in its cuisine. For the dedicated 'foodie' visiting Menorca, even a short break is the opportunity to explore the unique tastes and flavours of the island's traditional and contemporary cuisine. |
From just-caught fish plucked fresh from the boat to creamy seafood stews to strange looking ocean delicacies you've never even heard of before - you'll have the opportunity to try some of the most delicious seafood in the world while you're visiting Menorca.
Any restaurant on the island will serve up a selection of local fish – all in their own very distinct way. The list is endless, but there are certainly a few firm favourites. Rich and juicy sea bream is usually baked in the oven and served with rice or seasonal vegetables (or chips of course!). Grouper is quite often used for stews, as it has a substantial flesh and mild taste, but it's also wonderful just grilled and served with a homemade mayonnaise. Another popular fish on many local menus is the Menorcan red mullet, which is firm and flavourful, and best served either baked or grilled.
If your palate runs to something a little more daring, you might get a kick (and a wonderful flavour) out of sampling goose barnacles. Nothing to do with our feathered friends at all, these barnacles are found on rocks or drifting logs, and are named for their weird, long-necked appearance. Salty, tart and extremely tasty, it's like having a little bit of the Mediterranean on your tongue!
Escopinyes will also give you an exotic taste of the sea. A species of clam, the Escopinyes must be freshly harvested and are best served very simply, to enjoy their unique flavour. Raw and squeezed with a little bit of lemon juice, or rolled in breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley and baked for a short time, escopinyes are absolutely 'more-ish' once you get a taste for them.
Menorca's Signature Dish
Everyone visiting the island simply must sample the island's signature dish: Caldereta de llagosta. With a prime ingredient of rich, succulent native lobster, this uniquely Menorcan recipe has evolved into a favourite all over the world – but it never tastes better than where it originated.
The stew is made with a base of onion, garlic, tomatoes and peppers, called a sofrito, to which the fresh lobsters are added, then simmered. It's traditionally served with very thin slices of toast. If you want to ensure you're eating the 'real' thing (not using frozen or imported meat), be aware that you'll only be able to get it in spring or summer, as there are laws preventing lobster fishing in Menorca outside the months of March and August.
Dedicated foodies visiting Menorca will discover a unique cuisine, often with a contemporary twist on more traditional seafood recipes. There's certainly a lot to enjoy, and plenty of surprises along the way!
Brenda Jaaback is the Managing Director of Bartle Holidays. They can provide you with a wide selection of great villas for a holiday visiting Menorca. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.
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