Mexican Chorizo

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jeepguy
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2004/11/30 19:04:04 (permalink)

Mexican Chorizo

Every Chorizo i see on Food Tv is not what i've always bought. It's solid like pepperoni. I like Suprema brand which is wrapped in thin plastic. Falls apart when cooking into a big pan of orange oil. Good with scrambled eggs or mixed with Chihuahua cheese and jalapeno and warmed in the oven. Flour tortillas on the side. Why are these both called Chorizo? Kinda like calling a rib roast and ground beef, both - ground beef.
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    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Mexican Chorizo 2004/11/30 20:32:57 (permalink)
    In my experience, there's Mexican-style chorizo -- which is what you're describing and which I've never seen outside of the southwest and deep south -- and then there's Portuguese-style chorizo, which is more commonly spelled chourico (with a cedille on the second c) and which is the stuff that's more likely to be found in the rest of the country. Portuguese chorizo has its uses as well -- Mexican chorizo would be plain nasty in a chorizo and kale soup -- but you can't really substitute one for the other.

    As for why they're both called chorizo...well, technically they're not, since the Portuguese stuff is properly spelled differently. (My guess is that most people -- like me -- don't know how to make a C-cedille, or whatever its Portuguese equivalent is called, in Word and use the simplified spelling instead.) Other than that, it's only been fairly recently -- like within the last few decades -- that a lot of people would have contact with both Mexican chorizo and Portuguese chorizo, and so the matter would never even come up.
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    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Mexican Chorizo 2004/11/30 21:33:59 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    Down here in Georgia, there are enough brands of chorizo to bewilder anyone... even the hungriest Mexicans! There are several local manufacturers in Metro Atlanta that I have been told about, including a carniceri'a on Stewart Avenue... now Metropolitan Parkway... in Southwest Atlanta. I'll stop in there one chilly, wintery day when I'm out hitting thrift stores and see if they'll make me a chorizo sandwich to assuage the chill.
    As for chourico, that and linguica are readily available here as well. Gaspar's from Massachusetts is sold at Publix, and it wouldn't surprise me to find another brand or two lurking around elsewhere. Unfortunately, nobody carries any good local NE U. S. kielbasa here, so I'll have to stick with Portuguese, Latin American, and Brasilian foodstuffs.
    When I lose some weight (sigh!), I'll go hunt some local chorizo and turn other people on to it. Until then, I'll wish for some - on a near-daily basis.
    Unsausagefully, Ort. Carlton in Cloudy And Warm Athens, Georgia.
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    BT
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    RE: Mexican Chorizo 2004/12/01 01:12:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

    In my experience, there's Mexican-style chorizo -- which is what you're describing and which I've never seen outside of the southwest and deep south -- and then there's Portuguese-style chorizo, which is more commonly spelled chourico (with a cedille on the second c) and which is the stuff that's more likely to be found in the rest of the country. Portuguese chorizo has its uses as well -- Mexican chorizo would be plain nasty in a chorizo and kale soup -- but you can't really substitute one for the other.

    As for why they're both called chorizo...well, technically they're not, since the Portuguese stuff is properly spelled differently. (My guess is that most people -- like me -- don't know how to make a C-cedille, or whatever its Portuguese equivalent is called, in Word and use the simplified spelling instead.) Other than that, it's only been fairly recently -- like within the last few decades -- that a lot of people would have contact with both Mexican chorizo and Portuguese chorizo, and so the matter would never even come up.


    There's also Spanish chorizo--spelled like the Mexican version but otherwise quite different but similar, apparently to the Portuguese sausage you describe with which I'm not familiar. See http://www.tienda.com/food/chorizo.html . Actually, I love paella and this is a common ingredient. Many recipes indicate that the best substitute for the Spanish version is not Portuguese "chourico" but rather the also-Portuguese linguica which is fairly easy to find in US markets.
    #4
    BT
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    RE: Mexican Chorizo 2004/12/01 01:28:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jeepguy

    Every Chorizo i see on Food Tv is not what i've always bought. It's solid like pepperoni. I like Suprema brand which is wrapped in thin plastic. Falls apart when cooking into a big pan of orange oil. Good with scrambled eggs or mixed with Chihuahua cheese and jalapeno and warmed in the oven. Flour tortillas on the side. Why are these both called Chorizo? Kinda like calling a rib roast and ground beef, both - ground beef.


    I'll make a wild guess and answer your question by saying that the Mexican chorizo was an attempt to immitate the Spanish chorizo in colonial America. There are other examples of not-very-faithful New World immitations of Old World foods. Boudain is one that comes to mind where the Louisiana cajun version (a sausage with rice and, often seafood) is quite different from the French (a blood pudding).
    #5
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Mexican Chorizo 2004/12/01 01:49:44 (permalink)
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1347
    here's a previous thread that sheds some light.
    #6
    Richard Brooks Alba
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    RE: Mexican Chorizo 2005/01/11 19:56:23 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jeepguy

    Every Chorizo i see on Food Tv is not what i've always bought. It's solid like pepperoni. I like Suprema brand which is wrapped in thin plastic. Falls apart when cooking into a big pan of orange oil. Good with scrambled eggs or mixed with Chihuahua cheese and jalapeno and warmed in the oven. Flour tortillas on the side. Why are these both called Chorizo? Kinda like calling a rib roast and ground beef, both - ground beef.


    It won't be nearly so baffling if you just think "sausage".... (Well, yes, it's a wee bit more specific than that - OK, how 'bout "vinegary sausage"?)

    Not only are there many things called chorizo around the globe, there are plenty of regional variations within each country, including Mexico. My abuelita's chorizo changed in flavor & texture as it dried/aged - it can now be found made of beef[or tofu - like some local-to-the-Bay-Area 'Soyrizo'], it can be coarse or fine, gentle or fiery, loose or tightly-packed, etc. Mexican chorizo may get some regional adjectives to further specify a type, but it will never be as ornately or specifically named as German sausages [more types than there are French cheeses?], American apple varieties - or Mexican chile types.

    So, jeepguy, it's NOTHING like calling a rib roast "ground beef" - unless, of course, you grind it up. (Ground sirloin vs ground chuck? Ask a butcher....) Google "chorizo recipe" and see what you find. Prepare a couple of recipes. Cook some up fresh, smoke and/or age the rest - you'll find a lot of variation just within that sample. Good luck & happy sampling.
    Buen provecho,
    Richard
    Berkeley/SF, CA
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