What Is Chorizo?

Discover the delicious difference between Mexican and Spanish styles of chorizo.

Chorizo is a spicy sausage made of coarsely ground pork, garlic, and seasonings. The main ingredients in chorizo are meat scraps and fat that are left over from butchering.

What Are the Different Kinds of Chorizo?

Mexican chorizo is made of raw pork and therefore must be fully cooked unless it is labeled otherwise on the package. It comes either in the shape of sausage with a casing or as ground chorizo. Fried and crumbled, it is used to fill enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or served with scrambled eggs for a Mexican breakfast.

Mexican chorizo gets its spiciness from either chili powder or bits of chile peppers.

While most Mexican chorizo comes from the pig, there is also beef chorizo that can be used instead of pork chorizo.

Another variety of Mexican chorizo is green chorizo with green chiles and cilantro as additional ingredients.

Easy Chorizo Street Tacos
Easy Chorizo Street Tacos | Photo by Yoly. Yoly

Spanish chorizo is a dried and cured sausage in a casing that is ready to eat like a salami. It is either smoked or unsmoked and generously seasoned with smoked paprika. Spanish chorizo can be either sweet or spicy. It is usually sliced and served as part of a tapas spread, or added to soups and stews.

Soy chorizo is a vegan variety made from soybeans and highly seasoned just like traditional chorizo.

Slices of Chorizo

What Is the Difference Between Chorizo and Andouille Sausage?

Unlike chorizo, which is always made of animal meat trimmings, andouille consists of animal innards, usually the small intestine of pigs and tripe, the stomach lining of beef. Another difference between the two is that andouille is heavily smoked, whereas Mexican chorizo is never smoked, and Spanish chorizo can be either smoked or unsmoked.

What Is the Difference Between Chorizo and Chouriço?

Chouriço is a Portuguese smoked sausage most closely related to smoked Spanish chorizo. It generally contains less paprika and more garlic than its Spanish counterpart and red wine as an additional ingredient.

Check out our Best Recipes with Chorizo.

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