The countryside of Menorca, an important natural market
Walking through the Menorcan countryside is full of surprises. On a family outing you can discover a large number of products: food, aromatic herbs ... For children it will be an adventure to know what nature offers them. Are you motivated to give for a walk?
Do you know the Menorca caper?
In June begins the time of the collection of the capers, the fruit of a beautiful plant with white flowers in lilac or pink tones that grows between the rocks. They are small green balls that are pickled with vinegar and added to salads and other typical dishes of Menorca, such as tongue or stewed meat.
It is a real food! Because the history tells that they were already collected more than 500 years ago for the Infantas of the Spanish Royal Family.
It may surprise you how they come out from among the stones that abound in the countryside. And you will also find them in some old walls of the island where spring springs up every year, such as those of Fort Marlborough, built almost 300 years ago, or those of Ciutadella, from the 14th century.
Take a few, put them in a vinegar jar and a bit of water inside. In a month you will have delicious capers that, well chopped, you can add to a mayonnaise and you will have a delicious sauce. Try it, the kids will lick their fingers.
Do you know that the mayonnaise sauce was invented by the Menorcans? Although it is known as a sauce of French origin it seems that the reality is that it was already made in Menorca before the French domination and that they were the ones who took the recipe to their country and from there they spread it to the whole world turning it into one of the most famous and versatile sauces there is.
The Samphire grows between the rocks on the Menorca cost
And near the sea you will find samphire emerging from between the rocks, a plant with green and fleshy leaves that is also picked and added to salads and appetizers. It is protected and you can only take one kilo per person but the most fun is to spend time outdoors with the family recognizing these peculiar Menorca products.
Spring is the ideal time to collect it, before the summer heat arrives and the flowers appear. Do you know that it is a food with a high vitamin C content? That is why the sailors of yesteryear always carried it on their boats.
Its flavor is slightly spicy and very aromatic. In addition, it stimulates the appetite and is a powerful natural antioxidant. A slice of bread spread with tomato and with some leaves of pickled samphire is a delicacy that will remind you of the sea you have found.
The perfume of menorcan camomile
And in the months of June and July is collected the "camamil.la", the traditional chamomile that, prepared in infusion, is aromatic and calming. It is a plant with yellow flowers that is found mostly in sunny and stony north places of Menorca.
If the children find it, teach them that they should take the most open flowers and that they cannot take them all, you always have to leave some on the plant. Each stem must be cut carefully so that they are born again each year. Then you have to let them dry in a cool place where they do not get the sun. And soon they will be ready to consume.
Do you know that it is an infusion with many qualities? It facilitates digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties. Oh! And remember that when you prepare it, the number of flowers must be odd. It may be just a legend about chamomile but this is the way how we do it in Menorca.
Wild plants to collect as a family in Menorca
Have you ever seen wild asparagus? Just when spring starts, the asparagus gives its fruits, tender and tasty, which we use in the kitchen add in omelet or to the famous "oliaigu", a vegetable soup typical of the Menorca gastronomy.
Children love to play to find asparagus among the green herbs. The one that finds more returns satisfied of the excursion and ready to eat the biggest and most beautiful. Grilled are delicious.
As you can see, the countryside of the island is like a natural market that has a lot of food. Do not forget that at the beginning of winter comes the time of collecting the mushrooms or after a good rain you have to go out to look for snails. You will be amazed by the recipe of our cuisine that combines snails with crab and a good stir-fry. Have you tried it? They are delicious!
And we cannot forget the aromatic plants that add the taste of any dish. Wild rosemary grows throughout the island, thyme, mint ...
Which of these products has caught your attention? Surely you are already preparing a family outing to find some of them. Prepare a game with the children and they will have a great time pretending to be explorers searching caper’s flower or chamomile. Ready to start the search