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Source for Spanish-style Chorizo?

  • j
  • J. Ro May 11, 2004 09:11 AM
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Hi,

Does anyone know a place in Chicago where I can find Spanish-style chorizo? For those who don't know, the Spanish-style chorizo is a cured meat, whereas the Mexican-style chorizo is a spiced raw sausage. The lovely Mexican-style chorizo is abundant in Chicago, but it does not make the perfect compliment to my wife's gazpacho.

Thanks in advance,
J. Ro

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  1. Can't help you in the Chicago area but my meat eating friend says the chorizo that is available at http://www.tienda.com is the real deal

    9 Replies
    1. re: Aimee

      Piatak Butcher Shop, 61st and Broadway in Gary Indiana. Exit I-65 at 61st Avenue going west (right) to Broadway, turn south (left). I grew up in the middle of the Spanish colony in Gary where every family made its own chorizos. One day, somebody had the bright idea to give Piatak the recipe and they've been making those same Spanish chorizos ever since. We still make the trip to Gary several times a year just to buy their chorizos. It brings back wonderful memories.

      1. re: Elaine

        Sounds like a great place, Elaine. I had no idea there was a Spanish enclave in Gary.

        A little closer to home, isn't chorizo de Soria also available at the store at Cafe Iberico on LaSalle?

        1. re: Kirk

          Regarding the Spanish enclave in Gary: We're all scattered now but at one time there were two Spanish Societies within one block of our house--one pro-Franco and the other against him. Like everybody else in the neighborhood, we always had homemade chorizos hanging in our pantry. My family was from Asturias so we ate our chorizos in "cocidos" and baked inside wonderful bread rolls called "bollos." My maternal grandmother was the cook at the Spanish Society on Monroe St. here in Chicago for many years. Sadly, it no longer exists, but in its prime it was a haven for Spanish and Cuban exiles in Chicago who longed for a home-cooked meal. I particularly loved "Ita,s" chorizos con garbanzos, which is still a favorite at our house today.

          1. re: Elaine

            Did your asturiano neighbors and relatives make fabada as well? Chorizo and morcilla are essential ingredients in that, as I am sure your know. I'm sorry to learn that the Spanish Society no longer exists! I never would have left Chicago had it still been there... Pro-Franco and anti-Franco perspectives have almost become immaterial with time, but the "real" meanings still exist.

            1. re: Kirk

              Fabada was not something we ate on a regular basis. There were plenty of morcillas, to be sure, but fava beans were not readily available in the old days--unless somebody brought some back from Spain. Now, of course, all that has changed. I, too, miss the old Spanish Society. As far as I know, though, there is still a group that meets in various places from time to time. Membership is restricted to Spaniards and/or their descendants.

            2. re: Elaine

              Wow, just when I thought it was no longer true that you learn something new here every day. Were most of the Gary Spaniards Asturianos? Any particular town? I ask this because where I grew up (Tampa) most of the Spaniards (and the Cubans who held fast to Spanish roots) were Asturiano from Oviedo or Gallego from Vigo (the big Spanish food import company from Tampa is Vigo). So most of the food and culture leans that way. If you ever make it down there, you must visit the Centro Asturiano, a beautiful 100 year old social club in one of the finest old buildings in Florida. PS, the best garbanzos I've found around here are at La Unica. Any tips for other places?

              1. re: JeffB

                >>the best garbanzos I've found around here are at La Unica<<

                Fresh or canned?

                1. re: Aaron D

                  I meant the soup that had been described in an earlier post. Likely fresh to start with at La Unica.

        2. re: Aimee

          Piatak Butcher Shop, 61st and Broadway in Gary Indiana. Exit I-65 at 61st Avenue going west (right) to Broadway, turn south (left). I grew up in the middle of the Spanish colony in Gary where every family made its own chorizos. One day, somebody had the bright idea to give Piatak the recipe and they've been making those same Spanish chorizos ever since. We still make the trip to Gary several times a year just to buy their chorizos. It brings back wonderful memories.

        3. Fox and Obel in Streeterville has what you're looking for.

          1. This question comes up every summer. Must be paella season. The easy answers remain: El Mercado, Southport and Grace; La Unica, Clark and Devon; Marcy Street Market (inside Sam's Liquors); Iberico. The best variety and price will be at the first two. Good US brands and Palacios from Rioja are on hand at Sam's and La Unica, usually. If you are cooking something like a caldo or a rice dish, consider the lard-packed, canned version, on hand at the bodegas. Can't beat that bright orange lard for color and flavor.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JeffB

              Thank you everyone for your timely and helpful replies. Because Cafe Iberico is closest to where I work, I went there. For around $10, I got a U.S. made chorizo labeled to be in the style of Soria. Our best Spanish friend hails from Soria (a small province in north central Spain). I was somewhat wary of its California origins, but the chorizo was sufficiently reminiscent of Soria to satisfy all at our table.

              As for Gary, Indiana, it sounds like some investigations are in order!

              Muchos gracias,
              J. Ro

            2. Edgewater Produce has it. Not labeled, looks like it could be made on premesis.