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Melting Down the Saïm

Cooking and baking in Mallorca would be inconceivable without Saïm (Castellano: Manteca, Lard), just as cooking would be without olive oil.

Saïm is pig fat in both its rendered and non-rendered forms, melted down for lard. Saïm is commonly used in Mallorca’s traditional cuisine as a cooking fat or as a spread similar to butter. It is probably best known for its use in Ensaïmadas, Empanadas or Emputidos, but is equally used in a variety of dishes such as Graixeras, Asados or simply, fried eggs. If you have not had your eggs fried in Saïm, give it a try. You may decide that this is the only way to have your fried eggs. You can buy Saïm in small containers at your local supermarket. I find that a better quality is usually sold by your local butchers.

Saïm rojo (red lard) is probably known to a lesser extent amongst the non-native community. Red lard is gained from decanting instead of melting. Saïm rojo is used for Botifarrons or Camaiots.

Bon profit.

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 1st, 2009. The time was 17:40:52.

3 replies »

  1. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful view on the Mallorcan society and traditions.
    One small remark.
    Wouldn’t the red variant be “saïm vermell” or “manteca roja”? Even though most Mallorcans constantly mix up their official languages they don’t usually do so for common words.

    • thank you johan, for your query. i can’t find the source that i used the other day. i thought it would have been wikipedia, but looking it up just now, i could not locate it. there is something like ‘saïm rojões’ but that’s portuguese. i’ll find out and come back to you. but what you say, makes sense. perhaps i made a mistake, mixing up various sources and getting muddled. i’m glad you paid attention. good night.

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