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Chorizo: The Tale of Two Sausages

In the Beach Blanket Bistro cookbook, I use two different type of sausages called chorizo. Some people have asked me to explain the differences between Spanish-style chorizo and Mexican chorizo. So I begin the Tale of Two Sausages.

Spanish-style chorizo is a cured meat, all most always pork. It usually comes in an edible casing and can come in a variety of flavors. It is not uncommon to find spicy, sweet and/or smoked chorizo. It can be used in a variety of dishes as either the main focus or as an accent.

My preference is for the extremely dense, slightly spicy variety. This is an excellent accent on vegetable dishes or in hearty soups. It is also great sliced and eaten with manchego cheese and some crusty bread. Add a little red wine or a sangria and you have a nice lunch.

Mexican chorizo is an uncooked ground meat combined with a variety of spice. More often than not, it is made from pork, but I have also encountered beef and chicken chorizo. Sometimes it is sold in casings, but is traditionally sold loose. This style of chorizo is commonly used in the same manner that any ground meat can be used. I am particularly fond of browning it, adding some scrambled eggs and having it for breakfast. Especially with some fresh, warm tortillas and a cup of café con leche.

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