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The Pebre Bord Tradition

In the past, let’s say a hundred years ago, or even only fifty, Mallorca’s food consumption was almost completely satisfied from home grown produce. In fact, when we came to live here, almost 25 years ago, the local markets hardly offered anything imported from afar. In those days long since gone, September was the time to harvest the Pebre Bord, a local variety of organically grown paprika used traditionally as a condiment and as the preservative of the Mallorcan Sobrassada. Then, it was the custom to string the peppers onto long strings of thread for the purpose of drying. The façades of country houses up and down the island were decorated with hundreds of those threaded peppers making for an unusual and very attractive decoration.

The tradition has almost vanished over the last twenty years but now seems to be reanimated and reclaimed. Many Mallorcan farmers have again joined the bandwaggon in growing, drying and selling the local Mallorcan paprika and thus, resisting the cheaper but inferior imports from Morocco, Turkey and Brazil.

Son Boter used to be a typical Mallorcan farmhouse. Now the building offers an image of how things would have looked in the past, being perfectly decorated with stringed pebre bord peppers (see photo above). Son Boter is now part of the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca on the outskirts of Palma. The installation can be visited for free from now until October 31st. Once you are there, you might as well enter into the house and see some of the studio space that Joan Miró used between 1959 and 1983, and possibly visit the Fundació’s museum as well even though, the visit is not obligatory. There is an entry admission charge for the Miró museum.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 16th, 2010. The time was 19:28:29.

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