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Chorizo: One Sausage, Many Cultures
Chorizo helps give many Spanish dishes their kick. Get to know this delicacy better with Groupon’s guide to chorizo.
Spain has been called a bridge between two continents, and its most well-known charcuterie, chorizo, reflects the plurality of its native country. The pork sausage originated centuries ago in Catalonia, but today it encompasses hundreds of regional varieties that are short and long, hard and soft, fresh and cured, dulce (sweet), and picante (spicy). From the basic elements of pork, garlic, vinegar, and pimentón—smoked paprika—come lean chorizos suitable for eating at room temperature, as well as fresher, fattier varieties more apt to lend their flavors to a chickpea stew.
Chorizo is nearly synonymous with Spanish cuisine, and certain varieties—such as chorizo Riojano from the northern province of La Rioja—have even earned Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) within the European Union. Spain’s colonization of Latin America, however, brought the delicacy overseas, where it soon took on new incarnations that incorporated ground meat and different seasonings. Hailed by many as the chorizo capital of Mexico, Toluca spawned a unique green chorizo flavored with tomatillos and spicy chili peppers rather than the traditional Spanish paprika.