Its amazing to see how many proverbs have to deal with old traditions and customs. The Spanish proverb “ a todo cerdo le llega su San Martin” refers to St Martin of Tours.
Celebrated the 11th of November, it was a reference to know when was the time to do the slaughter of the pig . In former times, it was the way to supply food for the whole year.
From November to February , when the cold starts, you can still find in rural villages from Mallorca families that once in the year get together early in the morning to keep on with the tradition of “ fer matances” their own slaughter of the pig. It’s a special day, because at the end, their larder will be full of food, butifarrons, camaiots and our today´s subject: the sobrasada, the most famous mallorcan sausage.
Its an special day, where everybody helps in the different tasks. Traditionally, men do the heavy tasks while women do the cooking and the guts cleaning with hot water, oranges lemons and vinager.
The name “sobrasada” comes from Sicily. There was a technique called “sopressa” (pressed) applied to stuffing meat. Through the maritime trade reached Valencia and then Mallorca, where it was adapted and already in the 16th century , became to be a popular way of preserving food for a long period of time, as it was eaten throughout the year.
But in that period it´s visual aspect was different as nowadays, it was not before the 18th century that the paprika – wich was originally from America – is added to the list of ingredients used to make sobrasada, offering its red actual appearance
The sobrasada is made with pork meat (lean and fat). Once it is minced, its mixed with paprika, salt and spices. Depending on the maker, the spices can be different. The mixture is stuffed into natural pig guts. After this first stage comes the curing stage where the mixture ferments, and thanks to the mallorcan climate characteristics our sobrasada obtains its particular flavour and taste.
This is when the sobrasada is tied with a string and hung from a pole until is cured. You can find sobrasada with a white string, that will mean that the sobrasada is not spicy. If it has a red string, careful!, will mean that it is spicy.
Thanks to the success of the sobrasada, producers had the need of creating a Regulatory Board. It is a body looks after the quality of the sobrasada . In 1993 got the award of the Majorcan Sobrasada Specific Designation and three years later, the European Union registered mallorcan Sobrasada as a product of Protected Geographical Indication.
This body (RB) as it has different requirements, ensures the product´s quality of the nowadays 15 registererd companies.( for example natural or artificial colouring is forbidden)Also its label is a guarantee of its origin and quality. It identifies two types the mallorcan sobrasada and the black pig mallorcan sobrasada, which is the best one, made with mallorcan black pigs.
There are different kinds of sobrasada. Depending how thin or thick the variety is, it is eaten before or later throughout the year.
That´s how the Longaniza variety, with a horseshoe form, is also the first one to eat, because it needs a low period for curing, and that´s why its normally eaten toasted. The Rizada type, needs a curing process between 6 and 12 weeks and it’s the most common type. Semirizada, bufeta, poltru, culana and bisbe are other varieties, this last one, can weigh 30 kg, so its not so commercially available.
If you come in the middle of October to Campos,(Mallorca)you can enjoy a Sobrasada Fair, where local restaurants and ovens participate and offer different kinds of sobrasada´s tastingss. Also the second Sunday of December, in Sineu, you have Saint Thomas fair, with a slaughter fair where you can see the process of making sobrasada. Just come and visit these villages, enjoy the mallorcan sobrasada, you can spread it on bread, it is also eaten with honey, with fish….just a treat in all ways!
Let us guide you into majorcan gastronomy, discover and taste with Mallorca Private Tour Guides the famous majorcan sobrassada, a great majorcan speciality.
Discover with our licensed tour guides majorcan traditions, «matances» slaughter of the pig, the production of majorcan sobrassadas, the small villages, the pleasure to seat in an small village bar and just enjoy tasting mallorcan bread with delicious sobrassada….it is another must do in Mallorca
Life is full of beautiful experiences, and one of this amazing experiences is of course a visit to Mallorca and enjoying a mallorcan Sobrassada, let us to be your guide….
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Source: Majorcan Sobrasada Regulatory Board.