Longaniza are sausages popular in areas such as Spain, Mexico, the Philippines, Chile, and Puerto Rico. Like other types of sausages, longaniza are made with ground pork stuffed into a casing. It is seasoned with salt and other spices. Similar to chorizo and Linguiça in both design and taste, longaniza are made with different spices depending on the region they come from. They are typically part of a hearty meal, though they may be sliced and served as a snack.
The term sausage technically refers to any type of ground meat stuffed into a casing. This means that beef, seafood, pork, or poultry may be made into a sausage. Most people are referring to pork sausage when talking about longaniza, though it may be made with any meat. The term chorizo, on the other hand, refers only to a pork sausage. The sausage casing may be synthetic or made of intestines. The casing may be eaten or discarded.
Longaniza may be dried, smoked, or cured. It may also be made fresh and then grilled or pan-fried. Pork fat gives it a greasy feel and consistency, though it also adds to the juiciness of longaniza when they are grilled or fried.
In local groceries or markets, longaniza are typically sold as link sausages. Found in the refrigerated or frozen foods aisle, most commercially produced longaniza are spiced with salt, sugar, garlic, black pepper, and sometimes paprika. It will likely be marketed as mild, medium, spicy, or hot. Red pepper contributes to the spiciness. Longaniza may also be a sweet sausage if it is made with more sugar than other varieties. Vinegar is another characteristic ingredient in longaniza.
Longaniza may also be made fresh at a restaurant or home. When found in a restaurant or private home, longaniza may be prepared in patty form. The sausage may also be crumbled. It is often paired with sides such as salad, egg, rice, or beans. In the United States, it may be served with cheese and bread or crackers, as is a tradition with most sausages.
Longaniza may also be spelled longganisa in various regions. The term is pronounced in the same manner, however. Typically associated with dinner, longganisa may be served with any meal, including breakfast. It may be an appetizer or snack served with cocktails. In some regions, it may be put onto a sandwich, as well.