If we ask any resident of the island or any foreigner what Mallorca is known for, in addition to the wonderful beaches, coves, landscapes and climate, they will surely tell you that it is for sobrassada.
La Sobrasada is considered one of the ambassadors of Mallorcan gastronomy, along with the famous ensaimadas.
This delicious sausage of simple preparation has ingredients such as black pork, salt and paprika, other spices, which will give more or less intensity to its spiciness.
The Origin of the Sobrasada de Mallorca.
Like all sausages, it was born from the need to generate food preservation techniques, but was sobrassada really born in Mallorca?
Unfortunately I must say no, since its origin is rather Italian, more specifically from the area of Sicily and Calabria, where it is known as Nduja.
For everyone’s peace of mind, the Nduja is similar but it is not the same.
This was born as poor food for the less favored classes, and for its preparation the less noble or residual parts of the pig were used, although over time these same parts became delicacies for the wealthiest.
How it arrived in the Balearic Islands is another story, since the oldest references that are available date from 1403, in which King Martín I of Aragón requested by letter to the butler of Martín I of Sicily, that Sobrasadas be sent to him. (Surprise) and other food.
Arriving these and their production technique thanks to maritime trade to Valencia and from there to the Balearic Islands, where their production is adopted and improved.
And up to here, the resemblance to nduja, since sobrassada is a much more aromatic, healthy and tasty sausage, and this is due to the breed of pig with which it is made and of course to the paprika.
Paprika is the one that makes one of the most important contributions in terms of its preparation and presentation, and that of course did not become possible until the 18th century.
This seasoning is so important in Mallorcan sobrassada, to the point that in order to be considered authentic, it is dictated how much they should contain, and it is normally harvested and made on the island of Mallorca.
I.G.P Sobrasada de Mallorca
Currently the production of Sobrasada is strictly regulated, thanks to the Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) seal, in which the website exposes the following about this product:
Raw cured sausage, made with minced pork (lean and bacon), added paprika, salt and spices, kneaded, stuffed and cured.
Based on the breed of pig, they are differentiated into two types:
-“Sobrasada de Mallorca”: made with pork of all breeds.
– “Sobrasada de Mallorca de cerdo negro”: made with pork from the native Mallorcan breed, raised and fattened on the island of Mallorca according to traditional practices, under an extensive or semi-extensive regime.
The sobrasadas at the end of the curing process have an irregular cylindrical shape, determined by the morphology of the casing. The surface of the sausage is dark red, smooth or slightly rough, with no mold or whitish mold. The paste is soft, inelastic, adherent, cohesive, unctuous, not very fibrous and marble-red in appearance. It has a characteristic flavor and aroma, with a clear perception of the presence of paprika.
The secrets of the Sobrasada.
As in all places, each family has its recipe, but as a purist that I consider myself, I tell you from the point of view of regulation what are its ingredients and their proportions
The primary ingredient, of course, is good pork, of which we will use lean and bacon, the amount of lean used being between 30 and 60 percent of the total, and the bacon of which between 40 and 70 percent.
The mixture of meats must be mechanically minced until obtaining particles with a diameter of less than 6 mm.
As a second ingredient, paprika, of which an amount that represents between 4 and 7 percent of the sobrassada will be used, which corresponds to about 50 or 60 grams of this seasoning.
The portion of salt will be equivalent to 1.8 and 2.8 percent of the recipe, to which other spices such as pepper, rosemary, thyme and oregano will have to be added.
Of course, we must have the pork casing, which must be 100% natural, with a firm consistency, without holes and without irregularities.
Once we have the ingredients, it is very important to mix and knead them, with which we will make a mixture by kneading with mechanical processes until we obtain a homogeneous mixture.
In terms of shape, it must be irregular cylindrical, determined by the morphology of the casing, from which it is distinguished according to its final shape.
- Llonganissa, thin, similar to a sausage.
- Arrissada, Made in large casing
- Semi Arrissada, made in medium casing, the most common in the markets.
- Culana, which uses large casing from the end zone of the pig’s intestine,
- Buffet, up to 8 kilos in weight
- Bisbe, who uses the pig’s stomach for stuffing, being the largest.
- Poltrú, in which the cecum of the pig is used.
- Terrine, in which a glass container is not used.
How to eat the sobrassada
It is the part that we all like the most, tasting this delicacy, and here I will tell you how to do it to enjoy all its flavor in multiple recipes.
Obviously one of the most common uses is with bread, not insignificant, since it is one of the best accompaniments for a good country bread or artisan bread.
And after the bread, what?
Well, after the sobrassada spread with bread, we can give it many uses, for example we can use it in rice dishes, as fillings for empanadas, as an additional ingredient to stews, in desserts and on pizzas, in sandwiches with honey, or along with some fried eggs with potatoes, and why not also experiment as our imagination tells us.
Where to Buy Sobrasada
Sobrasada in Mallorca is a product that you can find almost anywhere, but I am going to give you recommendations for the best places so that you do not get caught in a poke
- Cas Sereno, Inca.
- Grocery store Sant Domingo, Palma de Mallorca.
- Sa Teulera, Manacor.
- Mercat del Olivar, Palma de Mallorca.
As you can see, in addition to being a star sausage in the Balearic Islands, it has an origin linked to historical events and by itself represents Mediterranean gastronomy like nobody else.
The care taken to maintain a traditional recipe led to its protection before the authorities, and it will be one of the hallmarks of Mallorca for centuries.
So every time you taste it, think that you are savoring, not only a product of the highest quality, but part of the history of the Mediterranean peoples.