Menorca – Europe’s next big gastronomic destination

20191101_121651

Last week I was invited to attend an amazing gastro experience showcasing the beautiful flavours of Menorca, traditional recipes reinterpreted in a modern way.

I am a foodie and often one of my main reasons for traveling is the local food. I love to discover the local flavours and experience traditional ways of cooking. Cuisine can easily define a community because it’s been there since the beginning of time. Menorca’s cuisine is quite special, because of the influences left by all the nations who lived on the island, from the Carthaginians who were there around 200BC, to the Romans, Arabs, and more recently in history French and British. All these inhabitants have left traces in the local gastronomy. Menorca’s cuisine is all about maintain the tradition but advocating modernism. With a strong farming sector, restaurants are always innovating and adapting the traditional recipes using local ingredients grown on the island.

20191101_124456

Menorca produces many POD (Protected Denomination of Origin) products such as the Mahón Cheese, cured meats, handmade herbal liquors, olive oil, honey, salt. The island has been producing gin as well for the past two centuries!

Menorca is not only a fantastic gastronomic destination, but it is also working on sustainability, by using reusable alternative sources of energy, trying to become plastic free and relying on the local producers. By promoting a conscious tourism, Menorca is empowering the local communities through the “Made in Menorca” initiative which markets the products which are typical on the island such as food, artisanal shoes or jewellery.

One of the quotes that stayed with me after the presentation is that Menorca is promoting the art of eating together, which is such a beautiful statement. How many of us actually take the time to sit down at the table for dinner and eat together with our families or friends?

20191101_125147

On Friday I made my way to Mimo London, in Borough Market, to find out why Menorca is a candidate for the European Region of Gastronomy in 2022 and to have a fabulous lunch created by the staff and students of the IES Macardona culinary school who came all the way from the sunny Spanish island to cook for us. They developed a traditional Menorcan menu adapted to the 21st century, to promote Menorca as a Gastronomical Capital.

And oh my, what a menu!

The lunch started with a plate of cold cuts and Queso Mahón – a crumbly, sharp and slightly salty cheese with a strong taste, made out of cow’s milk. The cold meats included the sobrassada – a raw cured pork sausage and carn-i-xulla – a salami made with pork meat and bacon.

20191101_121810

The starter was a cauliflower tortilla, crispy and aromatic, accompanied by a slice of tomato drizzled in olive oil. I have always admired how chefs can transform the banal cauliflower and use it as the main star of a dish.

20191101_121528

The first main was a wonderful portion of rabbit filled cannelloni served with rabbit ribs and offal on the side. I know that rabbit is a very hard meat to cook so I was very impressed on how juicy the filling of the cannelloni was. The taste was rich, with so much meaty flavour. This was my favourite dish from the menu.

20191101_133444

The second main was stuffed squid, served with a white sauce and, and what I believe to be fondant potatoes dripped with an herbal oil. The entire dish was so delicate, with the flavours complimenting each other in such a beautiful way. I don’t know what the squid was stuffed with, but it was delicious.

20191101_135511

The dessert was outstanding as well, a slice of almond cake served with thick cream on top to balance the sweetness.  The tiny beignet on the side was a very nice addition and a reminder of the traditional Menorcan Buñuelos, filled with Mahón cheese and served usually for All Saint’s Day.

20191101_142159

To accompany the lunch we were served traditional Menorcan wine from local wineries on the island Torralbenc, Sa Forana and Binifadet.

In April, Menorca is hosting the “Fira Arrels”, its annual event showcasing the island’s distinct gastronomy, supporting the local producers and restaurants. I have a feeling that I might be heading that way next year. 😊

 

 

What do you think? Have you been to Menorca yet? Have you tried any of the Menorcan delicacies? I would love to hear your opinions in the comment section below.

 

 

Disclaimer: Some of the links one this website are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click on the link and do a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. This helps me keep my website running and continue to share my traveling knowledge with you. I thank you for booking your flights or hotels using the links on my website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

Sharing is caring!

Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.

23 Comments

    1. I’ve been in Europe, but I’ve never heard about this place. Trying different cuisines is one of my favorite part of traveling. This place sounds like a must! I love their philosophy, I believe that actually dinner with our loved ones is important.

  1. All of this food looks incredible. I am a foodie as well and LOVE to try new things. I have never been to Menorca before but would love to go one day.

    1. The gastronomic festival next year
      Sounds really good. I’ve never been to Menorca bit I love the Spanish islands, so I need to. Mich X

    2. One of the things my husband looks forward to on holiday is trying all the local cuisine. These looks beautifully presented dishes.

  2. Our family still eats together and we love inviting friends as well!
    The rabbit cannelloni looks intriguing and yummy. I would love to try it!

  3. If I think of this wonderful place I undoubtedly think of the beaches and the type of vacation I would like, but not the food! So great to know!

  4. Would love to try the cheese and the cauliflower tortilla. The food all looks healthy but delicious. It is interesting how different areas of Spain gave their own style of cooking. I have only tried Catalan food.

  5. I didn’t realise Menorca had such wonderful food items! The cheese sounds delicious & I totally agree about how chefs can do amazing things with cauliflower

  6. I love the sound of the squid it sounds delicious. I love the dessert too, always wanted to try a beignet after watching the princess and the Frog movie.

  7. Oh wow this all looks and sounds so amazing! I have been to Menorca but I had no idea it was such an amazing place for food! I will definitely have to go back!

  8. Wow the food looks amazing and beautifully presented, I have never been to Menorca I never knew I could get food like this there x

  9. I think it is so important to all sit down as a family and eat meals together. We eat together quite often, but it’s getting a bit harder now all the kids have different after school activities

  10. What some absolutely amazing looking plates of food! It sounds like Menorca is really pulling out all the stops when it comes to offering different foodie things.

  11. Oh wow how wonderful is this. It is always good to sit down and have a good catch up over a meal with family and friends. Looks like Menorca could be the place to do this x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.