The sobrasada of Majorca, a Majorcan delicacy
Sobrasada is a typical sausage that has been made with raw and cured pork. We can find different types of sobrasada according to the breed of pig, the format it is presented in or the area of the pig it comes from. It is a very typical product from the Balearic Islands, especially Mallorca. The Iberian pork sobrasada produced in the Iberian ham production areas of Salamanca, Extremadura and Andalusia are highly valued too.
Its characteristic color is given by the ingredients that are added to make it. Its texture is also very different from the rest of the sausages, since the most common way of consuming it is spread on bread. The technique used to make it comes from Sicily, where traditionally minced meat was used to stuff it.
Sobrasada is made by using lean pork, bacon, paprika, salt, and pepper. Lean meat percentages may vary between 30-60%, while bacon percentages may vary between 40-70%. For those sobrasadas that have the PGI (or Protected Geographical Indication), the use of colorants is prohibited.
The production method has two different phases in its production process. These phases are as follows:
Firstly, the meat is minced. Once the meats are minced, they are left set for a few hours, they are mechanically kneaded together with the rest of the ingredients and the mixture is stuffed into natural pork casing.
Second, there is the healing phase. This phase consists of the fermentation of the dough, in which the dough loses humidity. Thanks to this phase, it acquires its characteristic texture and flavor.
The consumption of sobrasada has important benefits for our physical and emotional health, thanks to its high nutritional and energy level. The meat used is exclusively from pork, using the parts with the highest amount of fat. It has a high component of unsaturated fats, which are good. Among the unsaturated fats, it is worth mentioning oleic acid and linoleic acids.
Regarding the organoleptic properties, paprika plays an important role. Its functions are to provide the flavor and color so characteristic, aspects directly related to the quality of the product and it acts as an antioxidant thanks to its content of carotenoids and xanthophylls.
Its consumption is also recommended for those who carry out significant physical activity and for adolescents of growing age.
Regarding its properties, the following should be highlighted:
High component vitamin B1. This vitamin helps us convert carbohydrates into energy. The consumption of this vitamin can be especially beneficial for our health in periods of stress and convalescence.
High component in vitamin B3. This vitamin helps regulate cholesterol and maintain our skin, nerves and digestive system well. It also helps fight arthritis and promotes the proper functioning of our circulatory system.
Rich in group A vitamins, an important source of antioxidants.
High composition in minerals such as sodium. It can help us prevent health problems such as hypertension, kidney problems, gastritis, ulcers, fluid retention, or osteoporosis.
It has E vitamins. This group of vitamins are important antioxidants, which have the function of protecting body tissue and help protect the body from viruses and bacteria.
The historical origin of sobrasada dates back to Ancient History. Although this food is currently the most typical of Mallorca, its origin is located in the territories of the Middle East.
The origin of this product comes from the need to find a method to store food for long or indeterminate periods of time. Seeing the success of the salting technique and its effectiveness, the technique of stuffing meat products was born.
This product arrived on the island of Mallorca when the Roman Empire controlled the Mediterranean Sea. At that time, food preservation techniques were created and spread throughout their territories. In addition, when the Roman empire arrived on the island the western Christian culture, so that the exploitation of the pig became normal.
The name of this product comes from Sicily. A technique known as "sorpessa" was practiced. Its meaning is pressed and is applied to stuffed meat. This technique was developed in Mallorca from the 16th century, when an important pork butcher tradition developed in which the first distinctive signs were used. A few years later, sobrasada became a common preservation method. This product is rooted in the culture of the place in the seventeenth century, at which time it became a characteristic product of the area. At the end of this century, red paprika was added and the sobrasada took on its characteristic reddish color. Afterwards, production methods are mechanized and technologically advanced.
Since the mechanization of its production method, the product has been modified. When society industrialized in the 20th century, the main sobrasada factories were in Mallorca. Thanks to the success and diffusion of the product, in 1993 the Regulatory Council was created and the PGI Sobrasada de Mallorca was obtained.
In Mallorca there are two types of sobrassada with PGI: PGI Sobrassada de Mallorca and PGI Sobrassada de Mallorca de Porc Negre. The preparation of both types of sobrasada is practically the same, but they have been made by selecting meat from different breeds of pig and are made in the same area. Here we discuss the differences in more detail:
PGI Sobrassada de Mallorca: This type of sobrassada is made in Mallorca and is made using pork of any breed.
PGI Sobrasada de Mallorca de Porc Negre: This type of sobrassada is also made in Mallorca exclusively with native porks meat. The pig of this breed is very similar to the Iberian pig, has been raised and fattened on the island following traditional techniques and in an extensive or semi-extensive regime.
Although the main production of sobrasada is concentrated in Mallorca, there are also varieties of this spread throughout several areas of the Spanish geography. Next, we are going to comment on some of the other variants of sobrasada:
Sobrassada d 'Eivissa: Generally speaking, it is very similar to the sobrasada from Mallorca. The difference is that the mince is larger, the meat is leaner and less unctuous, and although they have less fat.
Sobrasada de Menorca: This sobrasada is made with insular pork, with sweet and spicy red. They have a lower proportion of fat, have a fine consistency, and a delicate taste.
Sobrasada from Alicante: It is the most similar to the sobrasada from Mallorca. This sobrasada comes from the area of Dénia and Tàberna. It is very similar to that of Mallorca due to the influence of the Mallorcan emigrants who arrived in Valencia. The honey that is added gives it a sweet and soft touch.
Chato Murciano Artisan Sobrasada: This sobrasada is made with indigenous pigs from the region. It is smooth and tasty.
Iberian and Bellota sobrasadas from Andalusia: These two types of sobrasada are made with the head of the pork loin and the dewlap, very minced and marinated in salt, sweet-spicy paprika, garlic and additives. The flavor and aroma may vary according to the type of fiber, drying time and maturation.
Iberian Bellota sobrasada from Extremadura: This sobrasada is also made with a top of the loin and dewlap. The main difference compared to Andalusian sobrasada is that paprika de la Vera is used together with sweet paprika, salt and garlic for 24 hours. Finally, it is cured for 3 months in the natural casing of the pig.
Sobrasada de Aragón: Pigs with D.O. Jamón de Teruel. Its flavor is smooth and its texture is fine and easy to spread, just as if it were a pate.
Sobrasada from Catalonia: Generally speaking, it is very similar to sobrasada from Mallorca but it is easier to spread and has a milder flavor.
Sobrasada is a very interesting product. However, it is a great unknown in terms of its properties and curiosities.
Sausage that is spread: one of the things that all types of sobrasadas have in common is the way they are consumed. Saving the differences in terms of texture and smoothness, they are all made to be smeared. S good sobrasada spread on bread can be a real delicacy.
Combinations to consume sobrasada: The way of consuming sobrasada has changed in recent years. Previously, sobrasada was simply eaten spread on a slice of bread. Currently, it is very common to find it with honey, sugar or jam.
Ingredient in kitchen dishes: Sobrasada is used in dishes such as meatballs, hamburgers, risottos or pasta dishes. In these cases, the sobrasada works as a flavor enhancer and gives it a unique flavor. Sobrasada can be consumed both cold and cooked, preserving its properties and flavor.
The pairing is something that, truly, is very personal, it varies according to the tastes of each one. These are some recommendations to pair the sobrasada:
- Red wine with DO: It is recommended to be of Denomination of Origin Rioja, Priorat and Ribera del Duero. The wines covered by these D.O. by the climate of the area, type of aging, the type of soil and the altitude of the area.
- Grape types: Within these Denominations of Origin, it is recommended that the types of grapes be Tempranillo and Tinto Fino. The wines made using these varieties of grapes are usually soft, light, highly aromatic and with low acidity.
- Vintage: For wine lovers, vintages make a difference. Depending on the vintage, we can know a series of characteristics that will help us choose one wine or another. Some of the characteristics are the rainfall regime of that year or annual hours of sunshine. It is recommended to pair the sobrasada with the following vintages: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2010.
Although these are our recommendations, the reality is that pairings can vary according to the tastes of each one.
Sobrasada tartlets with honey and pine nuts
We heat the oil and toast the pine nuts a little
We add the sobrasada, the honey and stir everything.
When the honey is well integrated, remove from the heat.
We fill the tartlets
Baked apple balls with sobrasada from Mallorca
We peel the apples, cut them and shape them into a ball.
We place the apple balls in a clay pot and sprinkle the sugar.
We pour the wine and place a little sobrasada on top of the balls.
We put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and reserve until cool.
We make the bechamel using butter, flour and whole milk.
When we already have a part of the milk incorporated, we add the sobrasada in small pieces and stir to integrate it.
Add another little milk and let the béchamel cool in a flat dish.
Once the bechamel is cold, we shape the croquettes, we pass them through the hard-boiled egg, the breadcrumbs and we fry them.