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Making the Most of Your Self-Catered Menorca Villa

One of the most exciting things about visiting a new place is the chance to get a taste of the local flavour – literally! In Menorca, culinary traditions combine to create a cuisine that is fresh and original. Though the island is home to countless fine restaurants, there’s also something to be said for doing it yourself. If you’re staying in one of our fully-equipped self-catered villas, you’ve got all you need to try your hand at Balearic cuisine. So browse the local shops and markets – perhaps with a Catalan-English dictionary at the ready – and start cooking up an authentic Menorcan repast.

Self-catered villa

Dining In

Just because you’re dining in doesn’t mean you can’t dine like a local! If you want to cook and eat like an island native, embrace the balance and variety of Mediterranean cuisine. That means a lot of seafood and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables – none of which you’ll have difficulty finding at the farmer’s markets held in the centre of towns like Mahon, Ciutadella, and Ferreries.

Here, as in the rest of Spain, people tend to eat a big, hearty lunch and a smaller, lighter, and later dinner. Do as the locals do and make lunch the main event. Not only will a hearty midday meal set you straight for afternoon activities, it’s also a great way for your group or family to bond.

Our villas are equipped with full kitchens which include a microwave and dishwasher, so you’ll have no trouble whipping up a meal from scratch. Many properties also have barbecues, so don’t hesitate to take the cooking outside.

Local Ingredients

For a small island, the culinary tradition casts a long shadow. As you’re exploring the shops and markets around your villa, keep an eye out for these home-grown Menorcan favourites!

Gin – Introduced to the island by the British, gin has been thoroughly adopted by the locals. Xoriguer distillery has been producing gin on the island for over a century.

Mahon Cheese – Buttery, sweet, and smooth, Mahon cheese is world famous. Sample different varieties and ages to see which you like best.

Sobrassada – This deep red pork sausage is seasoned liberally with paprika and sometimes cayenne pepper, and is a favourite among the Balearic Islands.

Seafood – With its prime location, Menorca is a seafood lover’s dream come true. From lobster to calamari, squid to sea bass, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice.

Mayonnaise – Some historians claim that mayonnaise hails from (and is named after) the capital city of Mahon. Whether or not that’s true, the locals love this creamy condiment.

Island Specialties

Not sure what to cook first in your villa kitchen? You can’t go wrong with some regional classics.

Lobster stew – Locally called caldereta, this classic stew consists of lobster added to a base of onions, garlic, tomatoes, and parsley. It is typically served with thin slices of bread. Note that local lobsters are only available between March and August due to their protected status.

Crema catalana – Not unlike the French crème brûlée, this decadent dessert consists of a thick and creamy custard sprinkled with sugar and then broiled to produce a caramelised exterior. It is usually lightly flavoured with lemon, orange, and cinnamon.

Pomada – Need to wash down your Menorcan meal with a cold beverage? You can’t do better than the local favourite, pomade – a mix of Xoriguer gin and lemonade!

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