Ibiza Traditions. “Ses Matances”

By 11 November, 2013 August 3rd, 2020 No Comments

The hot days are gone, cold months are coming up and with them one of the most authentic traditions that still takes place in the traditional Ibicenco homes and farms, “ses matances” (the pig slaughter). Many families, especially those who live in the villages, still keep doing “ses matances” almost in the same way they were done centuries ago.

In the old days the pig-killings were essential because it provided food to the families for the whole year, letting them have protein reserves stored. Today, although things have changed, many Ibicenco families continue to fatten a pig every year. And the “sobrasada” (Ibizan spicy sausage) is still one of the main foods in the gastronomy of Ibiza.


One of the main reasons why the “matances” have lasted so many years is undoubtedly the fact that there are big family celebrations, a tradition, a joyful day and gathering of family, friends and neighbours. They all help, eat, drink, chat and laugh together. They even sing traditional songs and tell stories. There are games for children too. The houses are full of people and the party goes all day long.

And at this social event is also very important its flagship homemade food product, the “sobrasada” (Ibicenco spicy sausage). A very nutritionally and complete food with protein, fat and calories, and that can be preserved throughout the whole year and even longer. The “sobrasada” is made with lean pork and bacon fat, chopped and mixed with paprika pepper, salt and spices. They also make “butifarrón”, but always less quantity.

Eating is very important in these celebrations, and they usually serve the parts of the pig that can’t be conserved, such as liver and the “freixura” (offal). And of course, the flagship dishes, which are a true delight of Ibiza’s traditional cuisine, “frita de cerdo” and “arròs de matances”. The recipe can vary depending on the family’s cooking style and also depending on the part of Ibiza. It’s basically broth rice cooked with pork, chicken and mushrooms. Some families also include pigeon and even fish broth, but there’s never missing the “vino payés” (Ibiza peasant wine), the “hierbas Ibicencas” liquor and the “buñuelos”.


On this post we have only given you some hints about this important event for the Ibicenco people. It’s such a broad and deep tradition that we could talk about many topics relating to the “Matanzas del Cerdo” (the pig slaughter) in Ibiza. So if you find it interesting just tell us and we’ll post some more stuff about this topic.

See you next week and have a nice one!