Chorizo is one of the most flavorful and delicious sausages on the planet.
However, have you ever considered what chorizo is and where it comes from on the pig?
What Is Chorizo?
Chorizo is a heavily seasoned pork sausage that is a staple part of Mexican and Spanish cuisine.
The flavor of chorizo will depend on the ingredients used to season the pork.
For example, pork chorizo has a different flavor than chorizo made with pork and beef.
Likewise, chorizo made with aromatic spices such as cumin or smoked paprika will have a different flavor than those made without aromatic spices.
Types of Chorizo
There are many types of chorizos. However, the main versions are Mexican and Spanish chorizo.
Spanish Chorizo h3
Spanish chorizo usually consists of garlic and pimenton. Pimenton is Spanish smoked paprika that can have a sweet or spicy flavor.
The pimenton gives the chorizo a deep red color that looks like a brick and has a rich smoky flavor.
Spanish chorizo is usually smoked and cured. Therefore, it has a firm texture.
Mexican chorizo must be cooked as it is made from raw, fresh pork. The pork is ground in a meat grinder until it has a fine texture.
Traditionally Mexican chorizo is made with pork. However, modern chorizo is made from other meats like beef or chicken, offal meats, or plant-based options.
Mexican chorizo has a small amount of paprika. However, Mexican chorizo’s color and flavor come from pasilla or other locally sourced chilies.
Other ingredients in Mexican chorizo include vinegar, spices, and oregano. Additionally, Mexican chorizo does not have a casing.
Therefore, it is broken into smaller pieces as it is cooked.
Mexican Green Chorizo
Mexican green chorizo is produced by combining finely ground pork or beef with tomatillos, fresh herbs such as cilantro or coriander, and green chiles.
These ingredients give the green chorizo a vivid emerald green color. However, the beautiful green color fades away once the chorizo is cooked.
Columbian chorizo is raw chorizo that must be cooked. Columbian chorizo is commonly found throughout Southern America.
Columbian chorizo can differ from region to region. However, it does not contain as many spices as Mexican chorizo or as much paprika as its Spanish counterparts.
Columbian chorizo contains a splash of vinegar, minced green onions, and fresh cilantro.
Chorizo is often fried or grilled whole. However, they can also be cooked on the griddle and served with arepas.
There are multiple types of Argentinian chorizo. Since Argentinian cuisine has a strong Italian influence, Argentinian chorizo can include wine, oregano, garlic, thyme, and nutmeg.
Argentinian, chorizo is usually grilled and served along with other grilled meats.
However, chorizo can also be used to make a popular Argentinian choripan.
Is Chorizo Made of Pig Intestines?
It depends on the type of chorizo. As I mentioned above, Mexican chorizo is not encased in a casing.
Therefore, Mexican chorizo is not made of pig intestine.
In contrast, Spanish chorizo can be encased in pig intestines.
What Part of the Pig Is Chorizo?
Chorizo isn’t necessarily one part of the pig. Instead, it’s multiple parts of the animal, usually cheaper cuts of pork.
In addition to this, where you source your chorizo also plays a role in what part of the pig chorizo comes from.
For example, if you make homemade chorizo, the recipe will most likely call for pork butt or pork cheek.
In contrast, if you purchase commercial pre-packaged chorizo from your local grocery store, it can be made with less desirable cuts of pork like lymph nodes and salivary glands.
If you are purchasing it from your grocery store’s meat counter or a butcher shop, you can ask them what type of meat was used to make the chorizo.
The chorizo will probably be made in-house and free of salivary glands and lymph nodes.
However, it doesn’t hurt to ask the butcher since you are paying for the chorizo.
If the butcher does not know how the chorizo was made or what ingredients were used in the chorizo, it’s probably not a good idea to buy the chorizo.
If you truly want to savor every bite of chorizo, then you need to know what part of the pig chorizo comes from.
Not only will you know what you are putting into your body, but you will also have a new icebreaker to get the conversation going around the dinner table.
You might also be interested in the following:
- What Part of the Pig Is the Ham Hock
- What Part of the Pig Is Pork Chops
- What Part of the Pig Is Ham
- What Part of the Pig Is Bacon
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.