Is it Menorca's salty Mediterranean wind that gives Mahón cheese its piquant taste? Some claim it's the secret ingredient. Or maybe it's the island's centuries-old cheese-making history. Today, locals craft their artisan brine-soaked cheese in Alaior village at Coinga factory, which offers complimentary tours. On your way to Coinga, travel along the ME-1 highway, which winds and crosses through cow-studded pastures divided by the stacked-stone walls character- istic of Menorca. Island local Angeles Carreras is the guide for the 45-minute cheese tour. Sample young cheese called tierno, the mature and buttery semi-curados, and the Mahón curado, which is sharp in taste and orange-coffee in color. Buy some curado to enjoy later in the traditional fashion -- as dessert with wine -- while viewing the salty sea.
- Cheeses available from 9 to 11 euros per kilo. coinga.com