Friday, 1 June 2012

Spanish Chorizo: spicy red sausage

Chorizo is one of the most famous sausages of Spain. Picante (spicy) or Dulce (sweet), there are many types of Chorizo. Each region or village makes it in its own way, with different ingredients and quantities, but basically is a red pork sausage with paprika and garlic.

You can find Chorizo curado (cured) or fresco (fresh) in every store in Spain. Cured is not cooked normally, but fresh is used to accompany a lot of dishes and recipes (always grilled or fried). Many times a group of friends meet in the countryside or the beach to have a good meal cooking grilled chorizo, chuletas (pork chops), sausages, black pudding… As in the photo

There are more types of chorizo in the world:

  • Portuguese chouriço: pork, fat, wine, paprika and salt. Stuffed into natural casings and slowly dried over smoke.
  • Mexican chorizo: similar to fresh uncooked Spanish chorizo, it’s made from fatty pork, but you can find beef, vernison, kosher or vegan versions. Secret ingredient: chilli peppers.
  • Brazilian linguiça: chouriço refers to blood sausage, and linguiça to a normal pork sausage.
  • Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic: smoked, well-seasoned sausage very similar to the smoked Spanish version.
  • South America: deep red colour mixture of chopped pork meat, pork fat, salt, pepper grains, cinnamon, achiote and other spices.
  • Goan chouriço: Indian chorizo is a legacy of Portuguese community. It’s a deep red por sausage links made from pork, vinegar, chilli, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmenic and other spices, and is extremely hot.
  • Philippines: Chorizo-making has a long tradition in the Philippines, with each region having its own speciality. This type of sausage is cured and available in the Spanish style.

But how many types of chorizo are in Spain? Well, each region, village or family has its own way to make chorizo. There are lots of different recipes. We’re going to see a few of them:

Dry Spanish Chorizo

  • Cantimpalo: typical from Salamanca, Segovia and Valladolid in Castilla y Leon region.
  • Pamplona: similar to Italian salami, but with less fat.
  • Leon: contains a lot of garlic and its flavour is really hard. It can be cooked.
  • Leon Herradura: made with the famous Pimenton de la Vera (type of Spanish paprika), normally in the shape of a horseshoe.
  • Soria: Thick large brick like paprika flavoured, made from meaty chunks of pork loin.
  • Blanco (White): made with pork loin, garlic and spices and white colour, similar to Italian soprassatta but with its distinctive aroma.

Semi-cured Spanish Chorizo

  • Bilbao: naturally air-dried sausage made from pork and well-seasoned.
  • Pirineo (Pyrenees): really hard and smoked.
  • Teruel: hard spicy red sausage. Teruel is maybe the capital of chorizo and pork in Spain. Many people thinks that the best Spanish ham and sausages or chorizo come from Teruel.

One thing is sure, there are many types of chorizos and sausages, especially in Spain, and all are delicious, but the best is from Teruel: land of chorizo, Spanish ham and all kind of pork meats. 

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