What Is Chorizo?

Chorizo is truly one of the most delicious, versatile, and flavorful meats on the market today. Those who have tried it will tell you how tasty it really is.

Perhaps you yourself have come across this mystery ingredient on a menu whilst you were out, and weren’t exactly sure what it was.

What Is Chorizo

When you first see it, chorizo looks very much like a regular sausage, only more reddish in appearance. Infact, many people actually define chorizo as a spicy pork sausage (You might want to check out some Chicken Sausage Recipes as well).

It does, however, differ from regular sausages in several different ways, most notably taste and texture.

If you want to find out more about chorizo, and what exactly it is, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading, as we take a look below. 

So What Exactly Is Chorizo And How Is It Made? 

Here it is, the question you’ve all been searching for. Chorizo is a Spanish sausage that comes from the country in question. The name of the sausage actually derives from Latin, literally translating to ‘salted’.

Those who have tried the dish can attest to the fact that a lot of its deliciousness actually comes from that particular salty taste. 

Many people might actually confuse chorizo with some other cured meats, after all, it does seem quite similar to pepperami in appearance. They can both also be eaten raw or cooked depending on preference.

The way in which they are prepared is also quite similar, as they are fermented, before being cured until they are completely dry.

In Spain, chorizo is often a popular choice for those who are looking for small dishes to serve as tapas, with a glass of wine and some other smaller treats. 

During the colonial period, chorizo was well known amongst other countries as a staple of Spanish cuisine. This means that with time, it became incredibly popular in countries involving the Philippines and Latin America.

Cuba, colonized by Spain in the earlier portion of our history, actually has their own variety of chorizo sausage that they have altered from the original recipe over time.

This has happened in other parts of the world too, meaning that there are lots of different varieties of chorizo available on the market today. 

What Are The Primary Ingredients Of Chorizo? 

Chorizo has several different ingredients that vary depending on the region where it has been produced. However, in a traditional Spanish chorizo, there are some primary ingredients that are always used. 

First and foremost, pork is the main ingredient of the dish. Smoked paprika is also heavily featured in the chorizo, as well as garlic. The pork that is used in the dish is chopped up, before being combined with pig fat.

That’s why if you’ve ever taken a look at a portion of chorizo before it has been sliced, you will see small, white bits combined with the meat. 

The seasonings, including the garlic and smoked paprika are then added and combined thoroughly with the meat. Finally, the chorizo is then placed in casings, which give it its signature look. The meat is then left to cure and dry naturally. 

The variety of Spanish chorizo that you are consuming can be determined by the size. If you have a larger portion of chorizo, then this will mean that they will probably be quite spicy.

If you have a smaller chorizo sausage, then this means that it will be far more mild in taste. This is important to keep in mind if you’re not somebody who deals particularly well with spicy foods. 

What Is Chorizo

Which Part Of The Pig Is Chorizo Made From? 

Most of us already know that sausages tend to be made from cuts of the animal that are less expensive. This means that it is actually difficult to determine from which part of the pig the chorizo comes from, as it is a lesser quality portion of the meat. 

Usually though, the part of the pig that is used the most in chorizo sausages is the pork butt, which is also known as the shoulder. Sometimes, you can also find chorizo which has been made from pork cheek. These two are quite commonly found in grocery stores.

 Sometimes, the chorizo sausages that you find in your grocery store also include parts of the animal such as the lymph nodes and salivary glands (Find out about sweetbreads here). So, if you’re somebody who is easily freaked out by these kinds of meat, chorizo might not be for you! 

What Kind Of Dishes Include Chorizo? 

A popular Mexican breakfast dish that you may have heard of is chorizo with eggs (You might want to check out Continental Breakfasts here). This is a format in which many people enjoy eating the cured meat. However, do not limit yourself to simply eating it as a breakfast item.

There are actually lots of different ways you can include chorizo sausages in your meals. 

One of the easiest ways to serve up some chorizo is to simply use it as an appetizer, along with some olives and manchego. This is a great option for dinner parties, or when you have some hungry guests visiting.

Chorizo also goes great in salads, so you can toss it in with those green leaves. Spinach in particular would be good to use in combination with the meat. 

Finally, chorizo also goes really well with pasta, particularly pasta that has been prepared in a rich, tomato based sauce. There are lots of recipes online for you to try. 


Chorizo, although it varies from country to country in terms of the spices that are used, is traditionally made using pork meat, garlic, and smoked paprika. A truly versatile meat, there are lots of different recipes to be found on line that incorporate this ingredient. 

Jeff Pratt
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