Menorca’s Artisanal Food Revolution

The Balearic Island of Menorca introduces measures to preserve the destination’s ‘gastronomic ecosystem’

The Balearic Islands have long been recognised for their gastronomy which has evolved over time, taking influences from varied cultures that have settled in the Mediterranean archipelago.

Menorca is a low-key island but home to various denomination-of-origin (PDO) products such as Mahón-Menorca cheese, cured meats, hand-made liquors, pastries and wines. The island’s gastronomic identity has been crafted over time by local businesses, small farms and artisans who have supported the local economy and upheld tradition, while offering visitors innovative and immersive gastro-experiences.

Committed to preserving these products and respecting both traditional and modern culinary traditions, the island has initiated a range of measures to preserve and benefit the destination’s unique ‘gastronomic ecosystem’, including:

  • Made in Menorca’, a brand initiative developed by the Consell Insular of Menorca in conjunction with local enterprises, to collectively promote and market those products that are typical of the island like artisanal shoes, jewellery, cheese, cured meats, wine and Menorca gin.
  • Fira Arrels’ an annual event that showcases the island’s distinct gastronomy, bringing Menorcan cuisine to the world and providing a platform to showcase both traditional and new gastronomy businesses, supporting producers and restaurants while boosting awareness and essentially consumption of local product. The next edition of Fira Arrels will be in April 2020 (dates TBC)
  • The creation of an annual calendar of gastronomic events, which promotes the culinary heritage and traditions of the island.

Furthermore, Menorca was recently presented in Brussels as a candidate of the European Region of Gastronomy 2022; an ambitious project that the public administration and the private sector in Menorca aim to fulfil together to promote the island’s gastronomic heritage and proposition.

As part of this candidacy, representatives from the European Region of Gastronomy will visit Menorca from the 27 to 30 November where they will have the chance to meet key stakeholders and review the destination from a gastronomy and culinary perspective.

Borja Beneyto, gastronomic critic and coordinator of the Menorca Bid Book ‘Menorca Timeless Flavour’, which contains the main lines of the candidacy, has been in charge of defending Menorca’s arguments and showcasing the island’s strengths in this field to be a designated European Gastronomic Region. The bid underlines the island’s gastronomy as one of the best-kept secrets in the Mediterranean. A culinary wealth that is deeply rooted in Menorca’s history and idiosyncrasy.

Over the past decade, Menorca has seen the rise of a movement that reaffirms the local pride in the island’s gastronomy and the vital importance for the local economy and, above all, the preservation of the gastronomic culture of the island.

Peter Morrell, Editor commented “I recently went to Mimo London Cooking School in Borough Market for a Menorcan lunch prepared by chefs from the island’s Instituto de Educación Secundaria María Angels Cardona. It was a truly memorable meal. We started with cured meats and cheese, all were full of flavour, I particularly liked the morcilla and the Mahon cheese. These were followed by endive croquet and a cauliflower tortilla. Again showing lots of taste.

The main courses were cannelloni stuffed with rabbit and stuffed squid. These were both hearty, rustic dishes and I was impressed with the sauce served as an accompaniment to the rabbit. We finished with a traditional almond cake, a sponge delight.

We enjoyed three Menorcan wines with the food. The first from the Sa Forana winery, a red made with cabernet sauvignon and merlot and a second, a red from the Binifadet vineyard, a blend of merlot and syrah. Both of these wine offered abundant fruit and vanilla/spice flavours from oak ageing. The third wine was light and delicate single varietal rosé made with the Monastrell grape. This had been produced at the Torralbenc winery.

The meal had been an excellent showcase of Menorca’s wine and cuisine.”

For more information on what to see and do in Menorca visit www.menorca.es

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