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Shopping for Chorizo

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2010

What are the differences between types of chorizo?

Our Spicy Mexican Shredded Pork Tostadas (see related recipe), also known as tinga, call for chorizo, a name shared by several styles of sausage. While all versions derive from the Iberian original, each has its own characteristics.

ORIGINMEAT TYPEFLAVOR/APPEARANCEUSES
SpainDry-cured porkCoarsely ground; bright red, with a smoky flavor derived from smoked paprika; depending on the paprika, chorizo can be sweet (dulce) or hot (picante). Can be sliced thin and eaten as an hors d’oeuvre; often cooked in dishes like paella or tortilla español
Colombia, ArgentinaFresh or cooked porkVery coarsely ground; lightly seasoned with garlic; sometimes contains herbsUsually served grilled or fried
MexicoFresh pork (or beef)Finely ground; pronounced spicy tanginess from chili powder and vinegarUsually removed from casings before being fried and mashed to a dry, crumbly texture for incorporation into dishes like tinga

SPAIN

COLOMBIA, ARGENTINA

MEXICO

Done in 281 ms! 61.385 KiB - 7.5% = 56.776 KiB