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Tradition of open-air pig slaughter abides on Spanish island

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In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Francisca holds a sobrasada, a raw cured sausage, made of pork bladder during the annual pig slaughter near Petr...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers shave a pig during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, the capital of ...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers pour boiling water onto a dead pig after burning it's skin to facilitate his shaving during the annual...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers use a meat grinder powered by an old Renault 4L engine, near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, the...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Guillermoposes in the family's cellar with the sausages made throughout the day during the annual pig slaughter ...
A villager hangs the cleaned guts of the pig from trees to dry in the open air during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Pal...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers cook the sausages made with fresh blood, that have to be cooked to prevent their decomposition, during...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Laura, one of the women who has come to help with the slaughter, stirs the fat of the boiling pork for butter pr...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, botifarrones sausages cook during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, the capita...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, a villager cleans the guts of a pig during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, t...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Maria, one of the relatives who comes to help with the slaughter, directs the making of the sausages during the ...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, men mix the fat and selected shredded pork with other seasonings such as salt, paprika and black pepper for the ...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, a man helps to knead the mix for sobrasada, a raw cured sausage, during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, som...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers dismember a pig during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, the capital...
In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Lorenzo, a professional slaughterer, holds a knife which was used to slaughter a pig near Petra, some 60 kilomet...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Francisca holds a sobrasada, a raw cured sausage, made of pork bladder during the annual pig slaughter near Petr...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers shave a pig during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, the capital of ...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers pour boiling water onto a dead pig after burning it's skin to facilitate his shaving during the annual...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers use a meat grinder powered by an old Renault 4L engine, near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, the...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Guillermoposes in the family's cellar with the sausages made throughout the day during the annual pig slaughter ...

A villager hangs the cleaned guts of the pig from trees to dry in the open air during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Pal...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers cook the sausages made with fresh blood, that have to be cooked to prevent their decomposition, during...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Laura, one of the women who has come to help with the slaughter, stirs the fat of the boiling pork for butter pr...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, botifarrones sausages cook during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, the capita...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, a villager cleans the guts of a pig during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, t...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Maria, one of the relatives who comes to help with the slaughter, directs the making of the sausages during the ...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, men mix the fat and selected shredded pork with other seasonings such as salt, paprika and black pepper for the ...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, a man helps to knead the mix for sobrasada, a raw cured sausage, during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, som...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, villagers dismember a pig during the annual pig slaughter near Petra, some 60 kilometres from Palma, the capital...

In this photo taken on Nov. 24, 2018, Lorenzo, a professional slaughterer, holds a knife which was used to slaughter a pig near Petra, some 60 kilomet...

MALLORCA, Spain (AP) — Beneath wintry gray skies on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, families, friends and neighbors gather for a centuries-old tradition that is not for the faint-hearted: the open-air slaughter of a pig.

The onset of cold weather on this island, which is better known for its sunny summer beaches, signals the moment for a custom that, due to industrialization, has been dying out.

"The cold cures the sausages," explains Guillermo Bezzina, owner of a large Mallorcan estate where the tradition of the annual "matanza" lives on.

For a long time it was a Spanish family's way of stocking up on pork meat for the rest of the year, at a time when few had means of refrigeration.

A professional butcher uses a long knife to slaughter the Mallorcan black pig early in the morning.

Laid out on a wooden table in the farmyard, locals burn the hair off the animal and shave its skin. Almost all of the pig will be used or eaten, either as cuts of meat or sausages.

A team of men butchers the pig, scraping out its innards and grinding some of the meat for sausage. Women clean and boil the intestines, some of which will be used as sausage skins.

The sausages are hung on poles to cure inside farm buildings.

At the end of the day, it's time for a fiesta with local wine.


Updated : 2021-05-15 02:08 GMT+08:00