Imagine you are on a beautiful Mediterranean island on a sunny summer day. You just spent the morning snorkeling, you have walked through one of its beautiful bays and you have felt the sunrays on your skin. The time to eat something is getting closer, the hunger tightens. You start thinking about one of the local specialties and the fact that you are in Menorca means: Today it’s time for the best lobster stew in Menorca.
A tasty gastronomic tradition
It is the most emblematic dish of Menorcan cuisine and was the livelihood of fishermen on the island for a long time. The name of this delicacy alludes to the container where it is prepared (Caldereta): a clay pot or “tiá de terra”, and it was the legendary Can Burdó restaurant in Fornells – which was founded in 1872 – that began to serve this dish to the first tourists who came there.
In Menorca there are two types of lobster: deep water ones, lighter and with a milder flavor, and the rock ones, with a more intense flavour and colour because their environment is richer in trace elements. The female lobster (as in other types of shellfish such as “nécoras”) are preferred by the gourmets since the eggs they contain give the recipe the characteristic sea flavour, and the last months of spring and summer are best to consume them. As of October, it will be white lobster (something less tasty) that will be served instead of the female one.
Pulling from the recipe book
To prepare a delicious lobster stew you need 500 grams of live lobster per person, 300 gr ripe tomatoes, 3 onions, half a green pepper, half a red pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, 6 tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of sugar, parsley, bread and water.
We begin by panfrying the vegetables which, once cooked, are passed through a blender. Next we clean and chop the lobster, putting aside legs and head (and of course its juice and eggs). We will put the lobster, its filtered juice, and the panfryed vegetables in a pot and cover this with water. Together with parsley and salt, the ingredients will be cooked until they start to boil. From there, we will count 60 minutes. On the other hand, in a mortar we crush the eggs, the intestines and the garlic, and once this is crushed we add it to the pot. It is at this point when each chef will add his special touch or ingredient; some people add almonds and biscuits, others add a little chocolate, liquor or even orange peel. It will cook for a few more minutes, and then leaving it to rest at least a couple of hours before tasting it.
The best stews of Menorca
But we are on vacation and we want to give ourselves the pleasure of eating out. Here are some of the best references from the whole island that will have you licking your fingers at the end and, above all, smearing bread to infinity and beyond in the delicious soup that accompanies this Mediterranean recipe.
Fornells is the temple of the lobster stew par excellence. There, the chef David Coca makes locals, residents and tourists enjoy the star dish of the Minorcan cuisine from a two-storey fisherman’s house with beautiful views of the bay.
It is one of the most emblematic restaurants in Menorca. They prepare the stew in the traditional style, one of the star ingredients of the place being the kindness of its staff. Having scraped clean well the “Caldereta”, do not forget to finish your meal with a piece of fresh cheese cake, another must when eating at Es Cranc.
Also in Fornells, and with boats and own nursery, in this small and intimate restaurant, making a reservation is essential to try a delicious stew in the harbour, one of the richest in the whole island! The intense flavour of this seafood will be enhanced if you get a table on its small terrace. Assured success!
Also with a terrace on the edge of the sea where you can enjoy this traditional seafood stew, Can Tanu is one of those places where you can pay homage if you visit Menorca. Lobsters have been fished and cooked by the Tanu family for three generations. Pilar González, its cook, has her own recipe to prepare the lobster stew: “use only the best ingredients and do it with a lot a lot of love”.
Can Bernat des Grau
On the outskirts of Mahon, the restaurant Can Bernat des Grau can brag about preparing one of the best stews in the area. The ingredients are of the highest quality and the service is excellent. And in this place they are passionate about the product of Menorca, being specialists in fresh fish of the island, without frills, directly from the sea and conserving all its flavours.
In Ciudadela, the “Rosa Santa Primera” is the boat that fishes every day in the Menorcan waters to catch the delicious red lobster with which the stew is later prepared. Friend
And it must be said that the cuisine is one of the main attractions of a trip and thanks to the lobster stew we can enjoy the entire flavour of the Mediterranean and specifically of Menorca in just one bite.