The tradition of homemade sausage-making, a painstaking job that turned the need to conserve foods for the winter into a festive event, has survived in the Balearic Islands down the ages.
Sineu holds its traditional Sant Tomas Fair along with a slaughtering day display on the second Sunday of December. An opportunity to get to know how its stellar product – sobrassada – is made and enjoy the lively atmosphere that surrounds this celebration.
In olden days, Balearic families slaughtered pigs to have meat and sausages all year round. Nowadays, needs are very different, but, thanks to sobrassada’s leading role in the Balearic diet, slaughtering day still brings family, friends and neighbours together for a festive holiday.
Families fatten their pigs for a year and make their preparations for the big day with the onset of cold weather: the butcher sacrifices the pig in the early hours of the morning and divides it up with the help of the youngest attendants: sobrassada is made by setting aside the pork bacon, hashing it with the meat and mixing it with paprika (to help the curing process) and other seasonings.
Other products are prepared as well, such as botifarrons (a paste of lean meat, heart, kidneys, fat, blood and different seasonings such as pepper, cinnamon and paprika stuffed in fine intestines and boiled in water), camaiots or manegots (a paste of lean meat and blood mixed with seasonings stuffed into a pork shank and cooked for 3 hours), pork bacon and paté.
In Menorca, pig-slaughtering is known as porquetjades menorquines and aside from sobrassada, carn-i-xulla, a cured sausage made out of thin ground strips of pork and little cubes of pork bacon marinated in salt and pepper that is always consumed fresh, is another popular dish. In 1993, the Balearic Government created the Sobrassada de Mallorca denomination and in 1996, the European Union recognised the Sobrassada de Mallorca denomination with its Protected Geographical Indication quality denomination, thus broadening its scope to the entire European Union.
For further information : Sobrasada de Mallorca
Category: Balearic Islands festivals