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Aug 8, 2008 03:57 PM

dry chorizo v. dry-cured chorizo?

I'm confused. I thought chorizo was by definition dry-cured. So are these two terms the same? What's fresh chorizo then?


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  1. My understanding is the "fresh" chorizo is usually Mexican chorizo - like buying uncooked sausage. Usually when I buy dried chorizo, it's Spanish, though there well may be a Mexican version. You might want to search this board for chorizo - I believe there have been some threads on the topic.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Yep...I have a partially-used package of Quijote Chorizo in my fridge (heh...I know that I'll be having eggs with chorizo tomorrow morning) is dry-cured. On occasion, I do buy fresh chorizo...and MMRuth is is basically raw sausage and it is quite oily. The Quijote I have, though, is very similar to pepperoni and man oh man, you can smell the paprika all over when the package is opened. Package says it's from Miami but other verbage says it follows a Spanish recipe...I don't care, it's just darned good!

      1. re: Val

        Having done a local Mexican chorizo crawl where I tried 23 Mexican chorizos (8 dry, 15 fresh), one upscale fresh chorizo (probably Spanish), 2 Salvadoran chorizos, and 3 longanizas ... yes there is a dried version of the Mexican ... chorizo seco ... as well as a fresh version of the Spanish.

        Look at almost any carneceria and you will see some sausages hanging from a rack and drying. The dry version still needs to be cooked, IMO, and it is usually a little more vinegary since that is the usual preservative of choice that I could determine.

        As mentioned, the Spanish dry version is more like a pepperoni. Fresh Spanish chorizo is also more dense and the type of sausage you would cook on a grill and not crumble. Mexican chorizo but dry and fresh is crumbly and mixed into dishes.

        1. re: rworange

          Yes, what we had was definitely pepperoniesque, not the spicier, crumbly stuff I was more used to.

    2. I am far from an expert on these things, but I am able to buy dry chorize in a cryovac, and it is hard when sliced, but apparently fully cured and you can eat it as is. I do heat it up before putting into paella. I can also find "chorizo" which appears to be uncooked sausage not all that different looking from Italian sausage, seasoned differently of course.

      1. At a Mexican Carneceria, you will have the option between the fresh chorizo - usually sitting in the case with other meats and the seco. The seco can usually be seen hanging in its own back case.

        The fresh chorizo is uncured and meant to be broken up and used in stews etc. The seco is great for grilling and eating on its own.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kare_raisu

          I didn't know you could eat the chorizo seco uncooked. Is this really safe?

          1. re: rworange

            grilling, then eating on its own [like a sausage]- meaning you do not crumble it and/or incorporate into a dish.

        2. There are two types of Spanish chorizo. Dried, which can be sliced and eaten like salami, and semi-dried, which must be cooked first. The semi-dried kind is what I use for cooking. It looks like regular sausage, but has a very firm texture.

          You can also get Mexican/Colombian chorizo which is completely raw sausage.

          10 Replies
          1. re: greedygirl

            Here in Spain we have every kind of chorizo: fresh/raw, smoked, "semi-dried" and dry cured. I think only the dry-cured stuff makes it to the US (and not the good stuff...sorry!).

            1. re: butterfly

              This is where I buy Spanish chorizos - some made in Spain, some in the U.S. - I think you are right that only the dry cured is made in Spain:


              But the "spreadable" ones are really quite good.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Sobrasada from Mallorca/Menorca? I love that too. It's hard to find a corner of Spain that doesn't do something delicious with pigs... there have to be at least 50 different kinds of morcilla (blood sausage) and they are all incredibly delicious.

                1. re: butterfly

                  Unfortunately, I think the sobrasada they sell is made in the U.S. but, fortunately, my husband thought it was as good as the ones he's had in Spain.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    The sobrasada made by La Espanola in LA is delicious

              2. re: butterfly

                I live in London actually so I think we get more choice!

                I was under the impression that all cooking chorizo was semi-cured, but thinking about it the mini chorizos I buy for the BBQ are completely raw.

                1. re: greedygirl

                  No, here in Spain we have completely raw chorizo (chorizo fresco), too. You can find it at any carnicerĂ­a. Really there is an unbelievable variety of chorizos, salchichas, butifarras, longanizas, chistorra, morcilla, etc. that you can find in Spain that never make it outside the borders...

                  1. re: butterfly

                    For a long time that was true of Spanish wine, too; the range of imports was extremely narrow compared to that of wines actually produced. It seems the Spanish, more than the Italians or the French, tend *not* to export their most celebrated products. Is that true or a misperception? If so, why?

                    1. re: tatamagouche

                      The same is true of the US. I can't buy anything good from the US in Europe... just the most mass-marketed, low-quality stuff. That's what tends to travel long distances best.