Protected Geographical Indication
Mallorcan Sobrasada

Sobrasada de Mallorca is a cured raw meat sausage, made with selected pork meats that are minced and seasoned with salt, paprika and other spices. The traditional need to find ways of conserving meat led to the development of numerous different ways of lengthening its useful life. One way is clearly by mincing, seasoning and curing the meat. The first historical reference to the name sobrasada can be found in a Sicilian document dated 1403, which describes a consignment of food products. Explicitly mentioned among the food supplies are sobresades. This might mean that the origin of this cured meat's name is Italian, although we should also add that the cured meat from which it got its name has very little in common with what is now known as sobresada, because it did not acquire its current characteristics until paprika reached Spain from the American continent. The first mention made to this cured sausage as we know it today dates back to the 17th century, where it is said that "one hundred sobresades and thirty llonganisses" were stored in a larder. In the same period, numerous references were also made to the consumption of pork meat and its by-products and also to the celebrations that were held when matances (the slaughtering of a pig) took place. From the 17th century onwards we can find many references to the use of sobrasada in local island cuisine and, from then on, it became an item of considerable gastronomic importance, with its role in meat conservation taking second place. In the 20th century manufacturers incorporated new equipment and technology to the sobrasada manufacturing process to guarantee the quality of the product, whilst ensuring the conservation of its characteristics and the typical form of presentation of traditional sobrasadas that were made when families slaughtered a pig.

 

In late 1993, the Government of the Balearic Islands officially recognized the specific designation Sobrasada de Mallorca and, in early 1996, the European Union protected the name Sobrasada de Mallorca by awarding it a quality designation known as a Protected Geographical Indication. This meant that the protection originally granted in Spain was extended to cover the whole European Union. The Sobrasada de Mallorca protected geographical indication covers two types of sobrasada:

 

  • Sobrassada de Mallorca: made with pork meats.
  • Sobrassada de Mallorca de Porc Negre: made solely and exclusively with meat from the black Mallorcan pig, using real guts for the outer casing. The pigs are reared and fed on the island of Mallorca following traditional methods.

 

The manufacturing process

 

To make sobrasada de Mallorca the following ingredients must be used, in proportionate quantities established in the corresponding regulation for this protected geographical indication:

  • Lean pork meat: between 30 and 60%.
  • Bacon: between 40 and 70%.
  • Paprika (Capsicum annuum and/or C. longum): between 4 and 7%.
  • Salt: between 1.8 and 2.8%.
  • Spices and/or natural aromas: pepper, spicy paprika, rosemary, thyme and oregano.
  • The use of colorants is expressly forbidden.
  • The guts used may be natural or made with collagen fibre (in the last case for sausages weighing under 500 g).


With these ingredients, following manufacturing procedures that are specified in the PGI regulation, top-quality sobrasada is obtained, conserving the traditional aspects that characterize and distinguish it. The manufacturing process consists of two different stages. The first is the making of the sausage itself (which in turn includes the mincing of the raw materials, their blending with other ingredients Mallorcan Sobrasada - Balearic Islands - Agrifoodstuffs, designations of origin and Balearic gastronomy and subsequent insertion in the gut casing) and a second stage, when the product is cured and dried. The raw materials are minced mechanically, using a mincing machine, producing pieces of mincemeat smaller than 6 mm in size (normally between 3 and 5 mm in diameter). During this stage, the muscular fibre is more or less destroyed, so that it is easier to mix the meat with the other ingredients. This stage facilitates the action of enzymes and microorganisms, due to the incorporation of oxygen and the partial destruction of the muscle fibre. The meat is then mixed with salt and spices. In continuation, the mixture is inserted in the guts and the curing stage commences in drying rooms, where the controlled temperature and humidity brings about a series of changes in the product's physical, chemical and microbiological properties. These changes give the sobrasada its unique aroma, taste, consistency, colour and stability. The stage when Sobrassada de Mallorca is cured takes place at temperatures of between 14 and 16ºC with a relative humidity of between 70 and 85%. The duration of this process depends on the sausage's size. During this phase two basic phenomena occur. One is physical (the drying of the sausage) and the other biochemical, the result of fermentation.

 

Characteristics:

Once the Sobrasada de Mallorca has been cured, it has the following sensorial properties.

  • An irregular, cylindrical shape determined by the form of the gut casing.
  • A dark red surface that is smooth or slightly rough, with no mould.
  • A soft, inelastic paste with a good adherent capacity. It is well blended and oily with few fibres.
  • When cut, it has a delicate marble red colour.
  • In the mouth it is easily moulded, and is granular and sticky. A high insoluble content can be detected. It has a very cohesive, well-blended texture with a characteristic taste and aroma where the paprika is clearly evident.

As for the properties of the gut or casing used, sobrasada de Mallorca can have the following appearances:

  • Longaniza: in a thin piece of gut with a maximum length of 50-60 cm.
  • Rizada: in a thick piece of gut.
  • Semirizada: in a medium-sized piece of gut (the most common form of presentation) weighing about 500-800 g.
  • Cular: in a piece of gut from the last intestinal section of the pig.
  • Bufeta: with a semi-spherical shape and weight of up to 8 kg.
  • Bisbe: the biggest sausage, using the pig's stomach as a casing.
  • Poltrú : using the pig's cecum as a casing.
  • Tarrina (in a tub): a new form of presentation, weighing approximately 200g, giving the product a longer useful life and making it easy for consumers to keep. Sobrasada de Mallorca in a tub is cured sobrasada which is packaged with full guarantees once the gut casing has been removed. Its physical and chemical properties 

 

  • Sobrasada de Mallorca Water(g/100 g) Máax. 35 Lipids (g)* Max. 85 Proteins (g)* Min. 8 Carbohydrates (g)* Max. 2,5 Collagen/protein ratio (g)* Max. 30

 

  •  Sobrasada de Mallorca de Porc Negre Water(g/100 g) Max. 30 Lípids (g)* Max. 80 Proteins (g)* Min. 13 Carbohydrates (g)* Máx. 2,5 Collagen/protein ratio (g)* Máx. 30 * per 100 g of dry material As well as having the above properties, sobrasada de Mallorca must also fulfil the following stipulations: «a pH of less than 4.5» or «aw of less than 0.91» or «aw below or equal to 0.95 if the pH is below or equal to 5.2».
Mallorcan Sobrasada - Balearic Islands - Agrifoodstuffs, designations of origin and Balearic gastronomy
Logo Govern