(by Pablo Burgués)
What does a mid-range human being when after getting a sock of the washing machine he or she discovers that it’s inside out? Easy: he or she introduces a hand to the bottom of the piece, through the hole, and with an accurate movement takes out what is in. Well, do the same with a pig and you’ll get a delicious sobrasada. Because this food, as its cousin, the chorizo (spicy pork sausage), or its son-in-law, the salchichón (salami-type sausage), is basically a pig turned inside out (gut out and meat in).
Yes, I know that hearing this may sound a bit disgusting, but, as you well know, the most disgusting things always use to be the tastiest ones. After this illustrative and hilarious introduction, let me tell you everything I know about this funny food.
The sobrasada is, together with the ensaimada and Rafa Nadal, the most distinguished typical product from the Balearics. Its making is very easy: select the most delicious parts of the pig, mince them, add salt and paprika and put it all inside the gut of the pig itself.
Who had this funky crazy idea? Well, it seems that all began back in the Middle Ages, when due to the lack of refrigerators people were forced to find some way to preserve meat for longer. And so the fine art of cold meat making was born.
Later, the Roman Empire brought this technique to the Balearics, with great acclaim from both the critics and the public, but with the annexation of the it came to an end (we all know that the Arabs are very fusspot with anything ending with the word pig).
In 1229, James I of Aragon re-conquered Majorca and it is at that time when cold meats, such as bacon, olive mortadella and other delicatessen that cheer the lives of the Christians up began to make themselves comfortable in the stomachs and arteries of the people in Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. However, it was some years after that when the sobrasada, as we know it nowadays, appeared.
The first known reference about it appears in a document dated in 1403, where the asked his son (who was on tour around the islands) to take him some sobrasadas. Thus, the first souvenir in history was born.
But the indelible date in the calendar of this food is the XVIII century, when the sobrasada world recruits, in summer deal, a true gastronomic incentive: paprika. This condiment, originating in America, is obtained from dried and then ground varieties of red pepper, and it is responsible for the colour and the somehow spicy taste of our dear sobrasada.
And that’s all I have to say about this.
Translation: Dora Sales
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