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Use Your Time in a Self-Catered Villa to Explore Menorcan Cuisine

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Renting a self-catered villa in Menorca is a great way to immerse yourself in local island life. With your own kitchen, you can spend time shopping for fresh ingredients in the vibrant outdoor markets, learn some local recipes and even invite new friends over to enjoy a traditional Menorcan meal.

Thanks to its history of being ruled by the British, French and Spanish, Menorca has a fascinating, rich cuisine, drawing on the elements of each. For example, the most popular drink on the island is gin, introduced by the British, while the use of fresh olive oil, tomato sauces and garlic are definitely Mediterranean in origin with influences of both French and Spanish cuisine.

While it may have been influenced by these European rulers, Menorca has embraced select traditions and blended them with its own cuisine of fresh seafood, delicious fresh vegetables and local meats to create its own distinctive Menorcan flavours.

Local Produce

Cooking in your self-catered villa need never be a chore if you embrace food as a way to enrich your Menorcan experience. Take the time to try out a few local delicacies and you’ll find you, and your guests, will revel in new discoveries at the dinner table.

Mahón Cheese – Named after the capital port, this hard cow’s cheese is a favourite with locals and well worth a try. Buy it at the supermarket or, for more rustic options, from stalls at one of the island’s weekly markets.
Fish and shellfish – As an island in the heart of the Mediterranean, you would expect fresh seafood to be easy to come by in Menorca, but you’ll be surprised at the sheer variety of seafood on offer here, most of it freshly caught that day.
Sobrassada – This bright red, cured pork sausage has a hint of heat from the added paprika and is a great appetizer served with a glass of wine before a meal.
Mayonnaise – Some people on the island will tell you that Mayonnaise is a Menorcan invention and that it is named after the capital Mahón, but while that fact cannot be proven, it is a fact that mayonnaise is a favourite condiment in Menorca, often served with fish.
Xoriguer Gin – Gin with lemonade (called pomada) is an island favourite and this gin is distilled on the island for an authentic Menorcan tipple.
Long, Leisurely Lunches

‘Eating like a Menorcan’ doesn’t just mean trying out local delicacies and recipes, it can also mean embracing the island’s tradition for large lunches and light, late suppers. One of the best reasons for this is to enable friends and family to gather in the middle of the day out of the heat of the sun.

This is a great tradition to adopt in your self-catered villa as it will give you a chance to take time out in the middle of the day and then enjoy long, leisurely afternoons.

A Bit of Inspiration

If all this talk of Menorcan food and Mediterranean living has whetted your appetite, why not try a few local recipes out before you go? That way, by the time you arrive at your self-catered villa you’ll already be an expert. Here are two of my favourite Menorcan dishes.

Caldereta – this is a local stew in which lobster is cooked in a tomato sauce flavoured with garlic, onions and parsley. It is usually served with bread.
Crema Catalana – This delicious Menorcan custard desert is probably inspired by the French crème brûlée. Creamy portions of custard, flavoured with orange or lemon, are coated in sugar and broiled until the sugar is caramelised.
Living in your own self-catered villa could be the beginning of a great culinary exploration of Menorcan cuisine, so release your inner chef and have a go at some of the delicious local dishes you’ll discover on the island.
About author: Desiree Michels

Brenda Jaaback, Managing Director of Bartle Holidays, is a renowned Menorca expert. From its history to its people and from its wildlife to its cuisine - no secret of the island remains hidden to her. Personally selecting the finest properties for her clients, Brenda is the go-toperson for anyone looking for a self catered villa on 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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