The sea provides some of the main ingredients for the Balearic cuisine. Menorcan cuisine has its own special essence. Unfortunately there are not many restaurants that offer typical, selected dishes of the island. However, in Ciutadella and other towns you can find some restaurants with a traditional kitchen of best quality.
The Caldereta de Llagosta (lobster casserole) is a strong and delicious soup and the island's major summer plate. It's perhaps one of the most prestigious Menorcan dishes, without forgetting, of course, its famous mayonnaise made with egg, olive oil and garlic. Other island recipes include Sèpia al Forn (baked cuttlefish), rice dishes with fish, or Tumbet (a baked dish with potatoes, fried peppers, aubergine and tomato sauce). Other local dishes like the Oliaigua with figs are more difficult to find in restaurants due to their simplicity.
The Menorcan gin 'Xoriguer Gin' is one of the island's most traditional drinks. Menorca is mainly known for this famous gin. It's the essential ingredient for mixing the well-known gin with lemonade or pomada. This drink is specifically popular during the traditional festivities of Menorca, with the fiesta of Sant Joan of Ciutadella being the most spectactular celebration. During the past few years, Menorca has begun to recover ancient traditions that have almost been lost, such as oil or wine. In Menorca, there are numerous brands that offer good-tasting wines. You should definitely try the island's wines to taste the full flavour of the Menorcan land, influenced by maritime salinity and the strong tramontana wind.
For dessert, nothing is better than a traditional Ensaïmada (a kind of spiral-shaped bun, covered with powdered sugar). It's probably the most popular product among visitors. Everywhere, you'll see people holding the typical hexagonal take-away box. Nowadays, there are several varieties, although the most common is the one filled with “Cabell d’Angel”. The most traditional Ensaïmada in Menorca, also known as 'Coca Bamba', is a more bulky version without any additional condiments. The traditional way to eat it, is to dip it into a cup of chocolate for the breakfast. Another option for dessert is the 'Maó' cheese, marked with a Designation of Origin. A diverse variety of cured cheeses and semis can be found all over the island. The Menorcan cheese is known for its salinity. If you can get used to it, the taste is really formidable.
There are other varieties of unique Menorcan products; smaller and more discreet, but never less delicious. The most traditional are the 'Carquinyols', small creaking and sweet cookies. Also worth mentioning are the 'Amargos', circular almond sweets, as well as the famous Pastissets. Another product you should definitely discover is the 'Tortada', a traditional cake similar to the Santiago cake, but spongier.