AskDefine | Define chorizo

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A spicy Spanish sausage flavoured with paprika



  • IPA
    • Castilian: /tʃo'ɾiθo/
    • Others: /tʃo'ɾiso/
    Rhymes with: -es|iθo

Etymology 1

Possibly from Latin salsicĭum, but uncertain.


  1. A type of sausage
  2. A foolish person
  3. In the context of "vulgar|slang|Latin American Spanish|lang=es": A penis
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From chori, from Caló chorar, to steal


  1. In the context of "vulgar|Spain|lang=es": A crook

Extensive Definition

Chorizo ( in Latin American Spanish or in Castillian Spanish) or Chouriço (pronounced [ʃoˈwɾisso] in Portuguese) is a term encompassing several types of pork sausage originating from the Iberian Peninsula.
Sometimes mispronounced as "choritso", it can be a fresh sausage, in which case it must be cooked, but in Europe it is more frequently a fermented cured smoked sausage, in which case it is usually sliced and eaten without cooking. Spanish chorizo and Portuguese chouriço get their distinctive smokiness and deep red colour from dried smoked red peppers (pimentón/pimentão or colorau).
Chorizo can be eaten as is (sliced or in a sandwich), simmered in apple cider or other strong alcoholic beverage such as Aguardente, barbecued or fried. Like breakfast sausage, it is used as an ingredient of other dishes. It also can be used as a partial replacement for ground beef or pork.

Spanish chorizo

Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped fatty pork and usually seasoned with chili, paprika and garlic. The mild Spanish paprika used gives this sausage its characteristic flavour. The Chorizo itself can be found as either picante (hot) or dulce (sweet). Only the spicy variety incorporates chiles guindillas secas (small dried hot chilies). Some varieties are hung in cold dry places to cure, as happens with jamón serrano (ham). It often contains varietal parts of the animal, such as cheeks, salivary glands or lymph nodes. The Pamplona variety grinds the meat further. In some regions of Spain, such as Extremadura where the pork was for centuries basic for subsistence, a usual dish is huevos con chorizo (Spanish for "eggs with chorizo"). This dish consists of fried chorizos (in olive oil or pork fat) accompanied with deep-fried eggs. The frying pan for the eggs must contain at least 3 centimeters (1 1/3 inches) of oil or melted fat, with a high temperature, i.e. when the oil starts to release smoke. The chorizo used for this dish is less cured and cannot be eaten without being cooked. The chorizo is also popular in Basque cuisine.

Portuguese chouriço

Portuguese chouriço is made with pork, fat, wine, paprika and salt. It is then stuffed into tripe (natural or artificial) and slowly dried over smoke. There are many different varieties, changing in colour, shape, seasoning and taste. Many dishes of Portuguese cuisine and Brazilian cuisine make use of chouriço - Cozido à portuguesa and Feijoada are just two of them.
Portuguese style Linguiça, can also be found in New England and Hawaii, generally known as Portuguese sausages. In the heavily Portuguese-ethnic areas of Southeastern New England, there is much debate over the merits of the two; chouriço (pronounced locally as "shu-REES") is considered the spicier, more accepted alternative to the subtler flavor of linguiça, although many restaurants, especially pizzerias, use the terms interchangeably. (A general rule in area pizzerias is that chouriço is ground on the pizza, whereas linguiça is usually sliced in a manner similar to pepperoni. Both are very popular toppings.) Other popular meals include chouriço and chips (a sandwich on a long roll filled with sliced or ground chouriço and French fries, especially popular in Fall River), chouriço and eggs (a variation on the Spanish chorizo con huevos), and are a common ingredient in New England clam bakes and clam boils.
In Portugal there is also a blood chouriço (chouriço de sangue) very similar to the Black Pudding, amongst many other types of Enchidos, such as Alheira, Linguiça, Morcela, Farinheira, Chouriço de Vinho, Chouriço de ossos, Cacholeira, Paia, Paio, Paiola, Paiote, Salpicão and Tripa enfarinhada.

North America

Better known in the United States (and seldom encountered in Europe) are the Mexican and Caribbean versions. Based on the uncooked Spanish chorizo fresco, these versions are made from fatty pork (however, beef, venison, kosher, and even vegan versions are known) that is ground rather than chopped and different seasonings are used in addition to chili.
Most Mexican chorizo is a deep reddish colour, but green chorizo is also made, being popular in the vicinity of Toluca, Mexico. In some supermarkets in the southwestern US, chorizo is sold packaged loosely ground, having an appearance much like ground beef, except for the colour, which is closer to orange than pink and consists of simple ground pork with the spicing of chorizo. It is an urban legend that "authentic" Mexican style chorizo, either pork or beef consists of only lips and salivary glands rather than the muscle cuts, although most prepackaged varieties sold in stores are made up of these very ingredients. Chorizo proteins like any sausage depends on the maker. This is finely ground and stuffed in plastic tubes to resemble sausage links but it is never prepared as links. The tubes are cut open and the nearly paste-like mixture is fried in a pan and mashed with a fork until it resembles finely minced ground beef.
In the United States, chorizo is generally known as a food for breakfast, although Mexican restaurants in both the United States and Mexico make tacos, burritos, and tortas with cooked chorizo. Chorizo con huevos is a popular breakfast dish in Mexico and areas of Mexican immigration in the United States. It is made by preparing the chorizo as mentioned above till it is thoroughly cooked before stirring in the eggs to create the chorizo scrambled eggs, or Chorizo con Huevos. Chorizo con huevos is often used in making breakfast burritos or taquitos. In Mexico, Chorizo is also used to make the popular appetizer chorizo con queso, which is small pieces of chorizo served in or on melted cheese, and eaten with tortilla.
Tapas bars that serve Spanish style chorizo have appeared in some United States cities.

Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic

In Puerto Rico and in the Dominican Republic, chorizo and longaniza are considered two separate meats. Spanish Chorizo is a smoked, well seasoned sausage nearly identical to the smoked versions in Spain. Puerto Rican and Dominican longanizas however, has a very different taste and appearance. Seasoned meat is stuffed into pork intestine and is formed very long by hand. It is then hung to air-dry. Longaniza can then be fried in oil or cooked with rice or beans. It is eaten with many different dishes.

South America

In Argentina and Uruguay, chorizo is the name for any coarse meat sausage. Argentine chorizos normally contain pork meat and do not tend to be terribly spicy. Some Argentine chorizo producers occasionally add other types of meat in order to improve the flavour, such as donkey meat; however, consumers are not always aware of this, and may consider such additions cheating. In Chile, a fresh chorizo is known as a longaniza. In Argentina, a fresh chorizo, cooked and served in a bread roll, is called a choripán.
In Brazil there are many varieties of Portuguese style chouriço and linguiça used in many different types of dishes, such as the Feijoada.

Goan chouriço

In Goa, a former Portuguese colony (for 451 years) in present day India, chouriço has made a deep impact among the local community. Here chouriço are deep red pork sausage links made from pork, vinegar, chili, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and other spices and are extremely hot, spicy and flavourful. These are enjoyed either plain, or served with potatoes, or pearl onions, or both. They are also used in a dish called pulav (i.e. sausage pulav). They are never consumed raw due to health concerns, although if aged well, they do stand up.
One can find three kinds of chouriço in Goa: dry, wet, and skin. Dry chouriço is the one aged in the sun for much longer periods (e.g. 3 months or more). Wet chouriço has been aged for about a month. Skin chouriço, also aged, is rare and difficult to find. Skin chouriço consists primarily of pork skin and some fat.
All three chouriço come in variations such as hot, medium and mild. Other forms of variations that exist depend on the size of the links which range from 1 inch (smallest) to 6 inches. Typically the wet variation tends to be longer than the dry variation.
In Goa, tourists often refer to chouriço as "sausage" which causes it to be often confused with "Goan Frankfurters". These are very different from chouriço. In looks, they are similar to sausage links as found in the United States and they taste similar to Portuguese sausage links, known as Linguiça. The meat is a coarse grinding that has primarily a peppercorn flavour.


Longaniza (Filipino: longganisa) are Philippine chorizos flavoured with indigenous spices. Longaniza making has a long tradition in the Philippines, with each region having their own specialty. Among others, Lucban is known for its garlicky longanizas; Guagua for its salty, almost sour, longanizas. Longganisang hamonado (Spanish: longaniza jamonada), by contrast, is known for its distinctive sweet taste. Unlike Spanish chorizos, longanizas can also be made of chicken, beef, or even tuna.
chorizo in Asturian: Chorizu
chorizo in German: Chorizo
chorizo in Spanish: Chorizo
chorizo in French: Chorizo
chorizo in Galician: Chourizo
chorizo in Italian: Chorizo
chorizo in Hebrew: צ'וריסו
chorizo in Hungarian: Chorizo
chorizo in Dutch: Chorizo
chorizo in Japanese: チョリソ
chorizo in Polish: Chorizo
chorizo in Portuguese: Chouriço
chorizo in Simple English: Chorizo
chorizo in Swedish: Chorizo
chorizo in Tagalog: Longganisa
chorizo in Ukrainian: Чорісос
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