What is it?
Chorizo is a sausage usually made of fatty pork and depending its origins (Spanish, Portuguese, Mexican, Latin American, Brazilian, Indian or Philippine) has different spices and matter of preparation.
Chorizo Based on Origin:
Usually it is fermented, cured, smoked sausage. It is usually just sliced and eaten without any type cooking preparation.
Two typical European Chorizos are the Spanish chorizo and Portuguese chouriço. They mix the pork with dried smoked red peppers (pimentón/pimentão or colorau) that result in a distinctive smokiness and deep red color.
Spain produces hundreds of types of chorizo made with combinations of different herbs, spices, and smoked or unsmoked pimentón (paprika). They come in short, long, hard, soft, dulce (sweet which isn’t really sweet its just refers to the type of pimentón used) and picante (spicy, again due to the type of pimentón used).
- Long and thin are usually dulce “sweet”. Short are usually picante “spicy”.
- Leaner (thiner) varieties are usually eaten room temperature like an appetizer or tapa. Fatter (Thicker) are usually used in cooking.
The Portuguese Chouriço is made with pork, fat, wine, paprika, salt and is dried slowly over smoke.
Chorizo was brought over by the Spaniards colonialist to Latin America. Due to the expense of imported Spanish smoked paprika Mexican chorizo is usually made with other types of chili peppers and the white wine that is usually used in Spanish recipes were replaced with vinegar.
Depending in what part of S. America you are chorizo is known as morcilla, longaiza, chorizo español, or chorizo.
Chorizo is made usually from pork but you can also find beef varieties and are not spicy.
COLOMBIA, URUGUAY, PERU
Made from coarse meat and a variety of spices. Spanish-style Chorizo is also available but referred to as Spanish Chorizo.
Brazil produces many different types of Portuguese style chouriço.
Goa, India produces wet, dry, and skin types of chouriço due to its influence of the Catholic Portuguese that ruled them for 451 years.
The Chouriço’s deep red color is attributed to the pork, chili, turmeric and numerous combination of spices and is aged in the sun for periods of 1 month for “wet” variety, 3+ months for the “dry” variety, and a range of months for the difficult to find “skin” variety. They come in hot, medium, mild variations and sizes ranging from 1 inch to 6 inches.
Known as Longaniza, chorizo, or soriso come in varieties made from pork, chicken, beef, or tuna and come in flavors from sour to sweet. The flavors come from their indigenous spices and Spanish as well as Chinese influences.