The packaging for Mallorca Delicatessen Mateu Pons’s Sobrassada Unic, designed by Mallorcan studio Deberlou, won first prize at the Fedrigoni Top Award 2015 in the packaging design category.
The Mallorcan black pig or cerdo negro provides superior pork and is indigenous to the Balearic Islands where it is protected by the Associació de Ramaders de Porc Negre Mallorquí Selecte (The Association of Mallorcan Black Pig Farmers). Sobrassada (known as sobrasada in Spanish) is a dried, cured meat made from pigs customarily slaughtered during the fer matances annual pig slaughter at first frost. Its production is steeped in ancient tradition and includes an elaborate curing and drying process that takes several months. Traditional production methods still in place today influenced the design decisions of Deberlou’s Miquel Cortés Prohens and Victor B. Pons: ‘It is a great collective effort by all parties involved,’ they explain. ‘The process spans working in the fields where the animals feed, to running the farms where they breed, to making the top quality spices used like the Tap de Cortí, a Mallorcan paprika which has preservative properties 100 times more powerful than any other spice and is almost extinct due to lack of production.
‘In keeping with traditional practice, the best parts of the pig are hand-picked and the drying process respects the old rule of natural drying in the upper part of the house, facing south, in a room moistened with cool water in the morning to control the levels of hydration. The Sobrassada are even tied by hand.’
Sobrassada is heavily regulated and the packaging design accommodates several informative markings including a tag for La Indicación Geográfica Protegida Sobrassada de Mallorca, which shows that the product has a protected geographical indication (PGI) and that the pigs are raised and fed on the island of Mallorca in accordance with traditional practices. Other ornate motifs printed in gold, white and black on Tintoretto Gesso H+O FSC™ indicate that the meat has been cured for 108 days and that the product is made from just one pig. Cortés Prohens and Pons chose Fedrigoni because, ‘of its high quality and variety, that made it easy for us to find a paper to convey the essence of what we were looking for.’
The label, which wraps around textural twisted paper packaging made from Imitlin Argilla ER05 Tela, also includes a limited edition seal that can be stamped with the slaughter date, unit number and total number of sobrassada produced from that pig. The packaging was designed to reflect the care and consistency with which sobrassada has been produced for centuries.