Above: Breakfast spread at Mon Restaurant in Ciutadella, Menorca

A determined effort by the island’s government to preserve traditional small-scale agriculture explains why the Menorcan larder is so rich with high-quality produce. In addition to citrus fruit and sun-ripened vegetables, the olive oil is excellent, as are the wines, while the Mahón cheese made from raw milk on island farms is prized all overSpain. Small fishing boats land their catch daily in Ciutadella and Mahón, which is why the seafood in many restaurants is exceptional. Perhaps the island’s most famous dish is caldereta de llagosta, rock lobster caught along the island’s craggy shoreline cooked in a tomato-rich bouillon. Sobrassada, a soft pork sausage flavored with paprika, is another local favorite, but the Menorcan staple that has gone on to achieve international popularity is a condiment, mayonnaise, which was purportedly invented here in 1756 to celebrate a French naval victory, and which was originally known as “Mahón-aise.”

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Above: Breakfast spread at Mon Restaurant in Ciutadella, Menorca

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