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What is Spanish Chorizo?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2016
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Spanish chorizo is a type of sausage with a distinct crimson color and a flavor that comes from using red peppers and paprika. There are actually numerous versions of chorizo created and these may vary by country. True Spanish chorizo tends to employ chopped pork meat and fat, in addition to the spices and salt. All ingredients are usually stuffed into natural casings.

Both fresh and smoked versions are prepared and these sausages can be either spicy hot or sweet. Lengths of the Spanish chorizo may give some indication as to whether they are hot or sweet. Hotter sausages may be shorter and sweet ones might be longer, but this isn’t always a predicting factor.

There are many recipes that make use of Spanish or other forms of chorizo. Portuguese types are popular too, and may be sometimes called linguica in the US. One of the most common uses of linguica in North America is as a topping on pizzas.

In contrast to the Spanish chorizo, the Mexican chorizo can have some distinct differences. One of these is that the meat is not chopped but is ground, and more types of offal may be used in creation of the sausage. Instead of chopping or cooking these sausages whole, often they are removed from their casings and used very much like any other ground meat would be used. They’re popular in many Mexican American restaurants as an alternative meat filling for things like tacos or burritos.

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Chorizos can also be sliced, or removed from casings and cooked with eggs, a popular choice in many countries. One classic Mexican dish that can be found in restaurants around Mexico is chorizo con queso or queso de fundido. This is bits of the sausage mixed with hot melted cheese and it is usually served as an appetizer with tortilla chips.

In other parts of North and South America, the chorizo may taste slightly different than the Spanish Chorizo. Much depends on how the meat is added, what types of meat are used and the dominant spices. Most chorizos regardless of origin retain their red color, but some may be differently colored if other types of spices or peppers are used.

One thing people should evaluate when choosing a Spanish chorizo or any other variant is whether they are buying fresh or smoked versions. Smoked and cured sausages don’t tend to require cooking. In contrast all fresh sausages must be cooked. If looking to add slices of chorizo to appetizers or to sandwiches, opt for the cured versions. On the other hand, uncured versions with some cooking can be delicious in many recipes.

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coreys
Post 1

Wow! Chorizo is so tasty! Being of Spanish blood, i have had the pleasure of enjoying this tasty, delicious meat product all my life. I am shocked and appalled that many people haven't heard of it before. In fact, i was just talking to some silly person about it and i told her how i used it to make an omelette in a recently acquired cast iron frying pan. It went something like this:

Corey: You know what else would be awesome with milk? Chorizos!

Amanda: LOLWUTIS?!

Corey: You don't know chorizos? aww lame!

Amanda: Nah LAWL!

Corey: well anyway, what i done was crack a couple eggs into a bowl, then add various little things as i usually would

for an omelette, then i diced up some chorizos and mixed it in. I then proceeded to cook that thing! id didn't even stick to the pan at all! was delicious!

Amanda: Wow, that nearly sounds better than my maltesers!

Corey: yeah it is better than maltesers

Amanda: Hey i found this thing on it wisegeek. com/what-is-spanish-chorizo.htm

Corey:yeah that's it.

Amanda: you should so leave a massive comment about your stories with chorizos

Corey: OK, hang on a minute and I'll write one up.

The End.

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