When the cold starts in Mallorca, it is the best time to visit villages and observe the tradition of pig slaughtering. Even though many people would consider it a cruelty, in Majorca that also kicks off the process of preparing sobrasadas.
Sobrasada derives from a Sicilian word "sopressa," meaning pressed. Traditional sobrasada is a sausage made from pork meat, paprika, salt, and various spices. This mixture is stuffed into pig guts and tied with strings in order to give sobrasada its special form and hang it curing.
Both the form of the sausage and the color of the string carry important information. Red strings mark very spicy sausages and white strings mark the lighter variety. The shape signifies which recipe was applied and the period of curing. For example, Longaniza has a horseshoe form and its curing process is the shortest. Rizada is cured for 6-12 weeks, has an oval shape, and is the most popular in Majorca. Bisbe is the biggest sobrasada which can weigh up to 30 kilograms.
There are several occasions, where tasting sobrasada is the best. Traditionally the pig slaughter takes place on the 11th of November—Saint Martin Day. Many households stick to this tradition, and some do so later between December and February. In mid-October, the municipality of Campos holds a Sobrasada Fair, and on the second Sunday of December, the village of Sineu hosts a slaughter fair during Saint Thomas Day.