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Spanish Chorizo reccomendations

I recently bought some of Fra Armani's chorizo - which I thought provided the soul to of a fideo perfection project of sorts I have undertaken at home.

I am looking for reccomendations of brands you use and really like -- as well as anything to stay away from.

I noticed Columbus puts out a monster-width chorizo - I am too afraid to try.

Many thanks.

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  1. I believe the Columbus version is supposed to be Mexican style. In the past, I have tried the various products from La Espanola... I thought they were good but I am in no way in any position to comment on Spanish cuisine.

    1. I won't pretend that it's the best one out there, but when availability and/or budget is an issue (as it nearly always is for me), I've found that Goya does a wholly competent version. I like it chopped and cooked with chickpeas, but it's also good for my bastardized caldo verde.

      It's usually found in Dominican/Puerto Rican neighborhoods (or aisles, if that's how your store works). Here in Austin, I also find it at the largest Hispanic supermarket (Fiesta), but in the aisles, not at the deli counter. I once found a much harder chorizo in the charcuterie dept at Whole Foods. It was good, but really more like a salami or saucisson than a cooking chorizo.

      Those are the only 2 non-Mexican-style chorizos I've seen in these parts.

      3 Replies
      1. re: renz

        It was good, but really more like a salami or saucisson than a cooking chorizo.

        > That sounds about right for true Spanish chorizo. There is a famous artisinal cured meat shop in Xalapa, Veracruz that makes air dried Chorizo... which a Spaniard I know said is exactly like what she would get in Madrid... it wasn't as spicy as Mexican and it was more the texture of Salami.

        1. re: Eat_Nopal

          when i worked at a continental food shop in london, we stocked 2 distinct varieties of chorizo (both imported from spain). one was very hard, like a really dry salami (similar in texture, but much smaller in diameter than the kind i found at whole foods).

          the other was noticeably more tender, though still firmer than, say, eckrich smoked sausage (though it's also sold in links and packaged similarly). the flavors were very similar, but we used them in very different ways because of their textures. neither was anything like a mexican chorizo.

          i recommend the goya because it's the only comparable tender-ish chorizo that i've found, which I think makes it ideal for cooking, especially if you want a nice chunk of it. the harder kind is, simply, too hard to eat unless you slice it very thinly or mince it very finely.

          1. re: renz

            Regarding the firmness and cooking applicability of Chorizo - the Fra Amani stuff is pretty difficult to slice. When you fry it, it almost crystillzes hard, I have found that its timing for re introduction back into the dish you are composing is key.

            If you add it too early - it tends to soak up some of the cooking moisture and becomes pale in color. Its much easier to consume - but not aggreable to me. It kind of looses its 'soul' because that initial crystallization in frying concentrates the flavor.

            What I have finally come to in experimenting, is to only toss it in at the very last minute- to only slightly soften it. Turn off the heat almost immediately. Its almost like treating it like shrimp.

      2. Palacios is the only one imported from Spain. It's distributed quite widely and you should have no trouble finding it in your usual food haunts, kr.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Palacios isn't the only option anymore (thank goodness!). I have to track down the chorizo I use as I've gotten in the habit of buying chorizo bilbao lately; but I remember finding Palacios a little too hard and oily.

        2. Thanks for the responses thus far. Has anyone tried any of Espanola products?

          On a side charcuterie note- pass on the Fra Armani Mortadella - Its pretty boring.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kare_raisu

            I had used Espanola, but not for a while and can't remember anything particular about them. Should also mention that the Spanish style chorizo that Santi (in Geyserville) makes is good too. You can buy it at the Healdsburg farmers market stand.

            -----
            Santi
            2097 Stagecoach Road, Suite 100, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Old thread but needed an update. *gryn* Santi is now a presence at the Santa Rosa Farmer's Market at the Vet's Building, selling their scrumptious meaty bits (love their headcheese!), and this coming Saturday, the 12th, according to their website, they will have their Spanish Chorizo. Linky to the webpage with the weekly sausage/meat offerings: http://www.tavernasanti.com/sausage.htm

          2. As for particuliar recomendations, I won't comment ...but have you visited
            La Tienda???
            http://www.tienda.com/food/chorizo.html

            1. I recently bought a package of Spanish chorizo at the Spanish Table in Mill Valley. (There's also a Berkeley location on San Pablo, I think). Anyway it is produced by Palacious, and is labelled as authentic spanish chorizo. I know I've seen it in other places in the Bay Area, maybe Whole Foods? I haven't cooked with it yet, but I've tasted some and it's good.