Roast Suckling Pig
After over 700 years of Moorish occupation when pork was off the menu even when there was an r in the month, the Spanish set about consuming the meat with gusto. It's no surprise then, that pork is one of the traditional delicacies at the Christmas dinner table.
Here in Mallorca, we're lucky enough to have a native pig breed, the Mallorcan Black Pig, whose origins go back to neolithic times and is probably a cross from an Iberian and Celtic Pig. Covered in black hair and with a straight, rather than curly tail, it is subject to a strict pedigree on the island to preserve its purity.
The great thing about these pigs is that they are bred and reared naturally in fields and forests where they can forage for food which gives them an absolutely beautiful flavour unlike some of the poor 'battery' pigs bred in industrial conditions.
One of the main black pork producers on the island is the Rancho Grande in the north of Mallorca at Son Serra de Marina. They have a free range pig farm (as well as horse riding and events) with around 1300 breeding sows which produce about 13,000 piglets every year.
Of these, 3000 are fattened up to adulthood for sobrassada production and the rest become roast suckling pig served up in Rancho Grande's restaurant along with potatoes and salad. The suckling pig is also available as a take away meal delivered direct to your doorstep and this Christmas, with 350 already ordered, supplies have been exhausted!
In fact with demand far outstripping supply, prices (already high because of a European pork shortage due to an epidemic in China) have risen to €150 for this deliciously succulent product – though when whacked out between 10 people still is very reasonable for a Yuletide dinner all done for you.
Whilst it may be too late now to order for Christmas, the delivery service is available all year and would make an ideal easy and traditional Mallorcan meal for a family or group of friends staying in a villa in the Arta to Pollensa area. You could also pop into the Ranch Grande Restaurant after a an hour or two in the saddle and relax.