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Apr 2, 2008 12:09 PM

Chorizo, what to buy?

I wanted to make a quesadillas the other day. Went to the supermarket for chorizos and was overwhelmed by the choices. Dry hanging in plastic bags, fresh, smoke sausage looking ones in the refrigerated section. I wanted some that I can crumble into the qessadillas. I ended up buying some organic ones from Nieman's Ranch. They were precooked, spicy and were similar to andulille sausage. Can some one clue me in on the different types and a good brand.

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  1. I think you want Mexican chorizo, which is uncooked - like uncooked sausages, rather than the Spanish chorizos which are dried. I don't know any brands though - I've bought it att little Mexican grocery stores.

    You might glean some more information here:

    1. The dried ones are superb sliced into casserole-y dishes, e.g., a kicked-up paella. A cuban roommate used to make a one-pot dish in a rice cooker with dried chorizo, canned goya squid, onion, garlic and bell pepper-- unbelievable.
      If you want to crumble use the fresh but precook it first-- it renders a lot of red-tinted, paprika-infused fat, and will turn your quesidilla into an oil slick.

      1. Seriously, there are no good brands of Mexican chorizo. Ask on your local board (Florida?) for a good Mexican market from you. Mexican markets will have two types... fresh and dried. Both work, but I like the dried better.

        If you decide to go with a supermarket brand read the ingrediant list. Some have really scuzzy things in them like lymph nodes.

        5 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Seriously ... sometimes I regret reading ingrediant lists

            Chorizo crawl - Pork salivary glands, lymph nodes & fat (cheeks)

            If El Mexicano is sold in the OP's markets ... skip it.

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              It's true - I read the ingredient labels too. Very common to see lymph nodes and salivary glands listed as primary ingredients for fresh chorizo. I don't know if that's a bad thing or not; the ones made with lymph nodes don't really taste any different than the ones that just list 'pork,' in general.

              1. re: Bat Guano

                I do. The ones with nodes and glands taste like slime. I had a commercial local brand, Silva, that was just pork and spices. While it wasn't as good as the stuff at carnecerias, it didn't ooze either.

                1. re: rworange

                  first time I tried fresh Chorizo was in South Phoenix and the clerk asked gravely "You know you have to cook it thoroughly?"

                  it was our tamale where we messed up.

          2. I was asking about chorizo awhile back and I got a lot of responses, with brand names, as well. Here is a link:


            1. I like Trader Joe's chicken chorizo. It's not authentic, but it's pretty good, less greasy, and made from chicken instead salivary glands.

              There's also a soyrizo which, while, again, not the real thing, isn't bad as vegetarian analogues go.