Sobrasada sausages are made in Mallorca, Spain.
They are dark red on their outsides. Inside, they are reddish-orange with fat marbling, and a smooth but loose texture.
There are two versions:
- Sobrasada de Mallorca de cerdo negro (made only from Majorcan black Balearic pigs);
- Sobrasada de Mallorca (made from any pig.)
The sausages come in different sizes, and are named differently according to their size. Broadly speaking, small, thin ones are called “llangonissa”; really large ones stuffed in pig stomachs are called “bisbe”, and sizes in the middle are referred to as “cular” or “pultrú.”
- Longaniza: Thin, up to 2 feet (60 cm) long;
- Rizada: Thick;
- Semirizada: Weighs about 18 to 28 oz (500 to 800g);
- Cular: Named for its casing, a piece of intestine from the last intestine of the pig is used;
- Bufeta: Somewhat spherical shaped, weighing up to 17 1/2 pounds (8 kg.) Stuffed in pig’s bladders;
- Bisbe: The largest size. The casing used is the pig’s stomach;
- Poltrú : The casing used is the pig’s cecum (a pouch-like part of the pig’s colon);
- Tarrina: Cured in casings, then packaged for sale to consumers in plastic 7 oz (200g) tubs.
All sizes and versions are made from minced lean pork, pork fat, salt and paprika that are mixed. The mixture must be between 30 and 60% lean, 40 to 70% fat, 4 and 7 percent paprika, 1.8 and 2.8% salt. No artificial colouring may be used. Additional spices allowed include pepper, spicy paprika, rosemary, thyme and oregano. The mixture is allowed to sit for a day for the flavours to marry. The next day, the mixture is stuffed into casings. Sobrasada de Mallorca de cerdo negro sausages must use natural casings; the regular Sobrasada de Mallorca version can use collagen fibre casings for sausages under 18 oz (500g.)
The sausages are then hung on poles and air cured anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks to a year, depending on the size, in rooms whose temperature and humidity are controlled to keep the temperature between 57 to 61 F (14 to 16 C) and the humidity between 70 and 85%. During this time, the sausage both dries and ferments.
Sobrasada de Mallorca is also the name of a shop in Felanitx that was the first to begin making the sausage commercially in 1962. It was this company that introduced artifically-controlled climate rooms to air-cure the sausages in. The warm climate in Spain now isn’t cool enough to dry cure the sausages just at normal air temperature to last as long as they used to. Without the special rooms, the resulting sausages would last only until about June of the following year.
Small ones are usually fried or grilled. Larger ones can be used as a pâté spread on bread, or used as a flavouring ingredient in dishes.
The pigs were traditionally slaughtered in December, with the sign of the cross scratched into them to ward off any evil spirits as soon as they were killed.
Received PGI in 1996. The PGI applies both to the regular version, and the more expensive cerdo negro (black pig) version.