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Chorizo is a term encompassing several types of pork sausage originating from the Iberian Peninsula.

In English it is usually pronounced , , or , but sometimes mispronounced .

Chorizo can be a fresh sausage, in which case it must be cooked. In Europe it is more frequently a fermented cured smoked sausage, in which case it is usually sliced and eaten without cooking. Spanish chorizo and Portuguese chourico get their distinctive smokiness and deep red color from dried smoked red peppers (pimenton/pimentao or colorau). Mexican chorizo usually has the consistency of ground beef, though drier, due to a higher chile and spice content.

Chorizo can be eaten as is (sliced or in a sandwich), barbecued, fried, or simmered in apple cider or other strong alcoholic beverage such as Aguardiente. It also can be used as a partial replacement for ground beef or pork.

Spanish chorizo

Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with smoked pimenton (paprika) and salt. It is generally classed as either picante (spicy) or dulce (sweet), depending upon the type of smoked paprika used. There are hundreds of regional varieties of Spanish chorizo, both smoked and unsmoked, which may contain garlic, herbs and other ingredients. Chorizo comes in short, long, hard and soft varieties, some of which are suited to being eaten as an appetizer or tapas, whereas others are better suited to cooking. Leaner varieties are typically better suited to tapas, eaten at room temperature, whereas fattier versions are generally used for cooking. A general rule of thumb is that long, thin chorizos are sweeter and short chorizos are spicy, although this is not always the case.

Portuguese chourico

Portuguese chourico is made with pork, fat, wine, paprika and salt. It is then stuffed into natural or artificial casings and slowly dried over smoke. There are many different varieties, changing in color, shape, seasoning and taste. Many dishes of Portuguese cuisine and Brazilian cuisine make use of chourico - Cozido a portuguesa and Feijoada are just two of them.

A popular way to prepare chourico is partially sliced and flame cooked over alcohol at the table. Special glazed earthenware dishes with a lattice top are used for this purpose.

In Portugal there is also a blood chourico (chourico de sangue) very similar to the Black Pudding, amongst many other types of Enchidos, such as Alheira, Linguica, Morcela, Farinheira, Chourico de Vinho, Chourico de ossos, Cacholeira, Paia, Paio, Paiola, Paiote, Salpicao and Tripa enfarinhada.

Mexican chorizo

Based on the uncooked Spanish chorizo fresco, the Mexican versions of chorizo are made from fatty pork . The meat is ground rather than chopped and different seasonings are used. This type is better known in the Mexico and the Americas and is not frequently found in Europe. Chorizo and Longaniza are not considered the same thing in Mexico.

The area of Toluca, Mexico, known as the capital of chorizo outside of the Iberian Peninsula, specializes in green chorizo which is made with tomatillo, cilantro, chiles, garlic or a combination of these. The green chorizo recipe is native to Toluca. However, most Mexican chorizo is a deep reddish color and largely available in two varieties, fresh and dried, though fresh is much more common. Chorizo can be made from a variety of meat cuts, including lips, lymph nodes, and salivary glands. The meat is finely ground and stuffed in plastic tubes to resemble sausage links, though traditionally natural casings were used. Before consumption, the tubes are usually cut open and the nearly paste-like mixture is fried in a pan and mashed with a fork until it resembles finely minced ground beef. A common alternative recipe does not involve casings: ground pork and beef are cured over night with a little vinegar and a lot of chile powder. Served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it has the fine mince-texture mentioned above, and is quite intense in flavor, and extremely filling.

In Mexico, restaurants and food stands make tacos, queso fundido (or choriqueso), burritos, and tortas with cooked chorizo and it is also a popular pizza topping. Chorizo con huevos is a popular breakfast dish in Mexico and areas of Mexican immigration. It is made by mixing fried chorizo with scrambled eggs. Chorizo con huevos is often used in breakfast burritos or taquitos. A popular Mexican recipe in which chorizo is used as an ingredient is to combine it with pinto or black refried beans. This is done by simply frying the chorizo and then combining it with refried beans. This combination is often used in tortas as a spread, or as a side dish where plain refried beans would normally be served. In Mexico, chorizo is also used to make the popular appetizer chorizo con queso (or choriqueso), which is small pieces of chorizo served in or on melted cheese, and eaten with small corn tortillas. In American communities where there is a heavy concentration of people of Mexican ethnicity, a popular filling for breakfast tacos is chorizo con papas, or diced potatoes sauteed until soft with chorizo mixed in.

Linguica can be found mostly at Brazilian or Portuguese restaurants in Mexico, or where there are significant Brazilian immigrants.

Comparison with linguica

Linguica, found in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, San Francisco Bay Area, Hawaii, Seattle and New Jersey, is generally known as a Portuguese sausage. In the heavily Portuguese-ethnic areas of Southeastern Massachusetts, there is much debate over the merits of the two; chourico (pronounced locally as "shu-REES") is considered the spicier, more accepted alternative to the subtler flavor of linguica, although many restaurants, especially pizzerias, use the terms interchangeably. Other popular meals include chourico and chips , chourico and eggs (a variation on the Spanish chorizo con huevos), and are a common ingredient in New England clam bakes and clam boils.

Spanish style tapas bars that serve traditional style chorizo have gained in popularity in recent years and now appear in many large cities throughout North America

Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic

In Puerto Rico and in the Dominican Republic, chorizo and longaniza are considered two separate meats. Spanish Chorizo is a smoked, well seasoned sausage nearly identical to the smoked versions in Spain. Puerto Rican and Dominican longanizas however, have a very different taste and appearance. Seasoned meat is stuffed into pork intestine and is formed very long by hand. It is then hung to air-dry. Longaniza can then be fried in oil or cooked with rice or beans. It is eaten with many different dishes.

South America

In Ecuador, sausages and meat loaf are not among the most popular dishes. However, many of these products have been directly adopted from European or North American cuisine. All salami sorts, either raw or smoked, are just known as salami. Most commonly known are sorts from Spanish chorizo, Italian pepperoni and wiener sausages, whereas wiener sausages are the most popular. The only sort of meat loaf usually consumed in the country is known as pastel de cerdo consisting in a mixture of ground and chopped pork meat, seasoned with local spices. Nevertheless, there are still some local specialities, such as morcilla, longaniza or chorizo. While morcilla in most Spanish-speaking countries is basically cooked pork blood encased in pork intestine casing (black pudding in English), longaniza is a thin sausage containing almost any mixture of meat, fat or even cartilage, smoked rather than fresh. Chorizo is a mixture of chopped pork meat, pork fat, salt, whole pepper grains, cinammon, achiote and other spices which produce its characteristic deep red colour. A traditional dish, as an exception confirming the rule, consists in fried egg, smashed potatoes, a half avocado, salad and several slices of fried chorizo.

In Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia, chorizo is the name for any coarse meat sausage. Spanish-style chorizo is also available, and is distinguished by the name "chorizo espanol" ("Spanish chorizo"). Argentine chorizos are normally made of pork, and are not spicy hot. Some Argentine chorizos include other types of meat, typically beef. A longaniza is a roughly similar, bit not identical, sausage (in Chile this is the normal name for a chorizo). In Argentina, Uruguay and Chile a fresh chorizo, cooked and served in a bread roll, is called a choripan. In Colombia, chorizo is usually accompanied by arepa.

In Brazil there are many varieties of Portuguese-style chourico and linguica (basically equivalent to American Spanish chorizo and longaniza) used in many different types of dishes, such as the Feijoada.

Goan chourico

In Goa, India, chourico has made a deep impact among the local community owing to 451 years of Portuguese rule. Here chourico are deep red pork sausage links made from pork, vinegar, chili, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and other spices and are extremely hot, spicy and flavorful, that are then stuffed into chitterlings (beef intestines). These are enjoyed either with the local Goan bread(e.g. pao), or pearl onions, or both. They are also used in a rice-based dish called pulao. They are never consumed raw due to health concerns.

One can find three kinds of chourico in Goa: dry, wet, and skin. Dry chourico is the one aged in the sun for much longer periods (e.g. 3 months or more). Wet chourico has been aged for about a month. Skin chourico, also aged, is rare and difficult to find. Skin chourico consists primarily of pork skin and some fat. All three chourico come in variations such as hot, medium and mild. Other forms of variations that exist depend on the size of the links which range from 1 inch (smallest) to 6 inches. Typically the wet variation tends to be longer than the dry variation.

In Goa, tourists often refer to chourico as "sausage" which causes it to be often confused with "Goan Frankfurters". These are very different from chourico. In looks, they are similar to sausage links as found in the United States and they taste similar to Portuguese sausage links, known as Linguica. The meat is a coarse grinding that has primarily a peppercorn flavor.


Longaniza are Philippine chorizos flavoured with indigenous spices. Longaniza-making has a long tradition in the Philippines, with each region having their own specialty. Among others, Lucban is known for its garlicky longanizas; Guagua for its salty, almost sour, longanizas. Longganisang hamonado , by contrast, is known for its distinctive sweet taste. Unlike Spanish chorizos, longanizas can also be made of chicken, beef, or even tuna.

While longanizas are fresh sausages, there are also cured sausages in the Philippines which are called chorizos. They are available either in the Spanish style, and Chinese, and are used in dishes which have Spanish and Chinese influences, such as Philippine-style paella, and pancit Canton.

External links

Portuguese Sausage (Linguica) in Havai

gmanews.tv/video, Vigan folk hold longanisa festival - 01/23/2008 (in Filipino)

Nutrition Facts for Chorizo

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Chorizo

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