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Dec 8, 2008 07:07 AM

Kosher chorizo?

Does anyone make a kosher beef version of Spanish-style chorizo? If not, what would you suggest sbustituting?

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  1. I noticed it this past week on the price list at the butcher shop part of Le Marais, and was surprised, because I thought it was a pork product.

    I believe chorizo derives a lot of its flavor from smoked paprika (pimenton). I haven't seen smoked paprika anywhere with a hechsher, but if you can find it, that, plus some more neutrally-flavored sausage, might make for a reasonable substitute.

    2 Replies
    1. re: GilaB

      McCormick's Smoked Paprika, from their "Gourmet Collection" has O-U certification.

      1. re: psycomp

        Fairway brand has reliable kosher supervision on smoked paprika, as well as literally dozens of very exotic spices and herbs, such as red Hawaiin salt, smoked tea rub,, and lots more. Check out .

    2. Perhaps, but it simply could not be called chorizo. Chorizo is pork and pork fat, with spices. I am a danish retiree, living partly in Mexico, with acceptance in the Denver and Mexico City jewish communities and eruvs. But with kosher chorizo, we are stretching words like Silly Putty such that they will have no meaning or differentiation from a more exact description.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        Well, I rather get the point that once it's no longer pork it's not really chorizo. That would be why I asked about a beef version. The word "version" would suggest that it's a variant, something akin, not quite the same. Would it help if I asked about a beef sausage that had similar texture and spicing to a Spanish - not Mexican - pork sausage commonly known as "chorizo?" By this logic, one would have to remind the Jews of Italy that they can't call duck or goose prosciutto "prosciutto" since we all know that prosciutto is made from pork, not poultry.

        C'mon. Please take the question in the spirit it's intended and skip the semantics lesson. And thank you to the posters who gave me some good leads.

        1. re: rockycat

          I agree with you. But I have had chicken and turkey sausage that were expensive, well-seasoned, and so healthy and fat-free that they really sucked. Chorizo is supposed to be a slimy molten mess of undefined particles of pig, the last remnants before the squeal, stewing in a reddish liquid that resembles used transmission oil.

          1. re: Veggo

            veggo, i know that "reddish liquid that resembles used transmission oil" -- so THAT's the flavor secret?

            1. re: alkapal

              Alka, Iberian chorizo is higher price/quality and has less free fat, while most Mexican chorizo is low-price peasant food. This is a fact; not a criticism. I buy it; I like it. The "red" in the fat is dried, powdered chilis, but not exotics. I save the fat for frijoles charros, and a bit in my Veracruz sauce perks it up. I don't use lard at all in Mexican dishes, although it is typically a common ingredient.

              1. re: Veggo

                i've recently used "salvadoran" chorizo.... that color is natural? yowza! i'm going to start a chorizo thread, to find out the nuances in seasoning. edit: here:

                i'm sorry now i didn't save that fat. the crows liked it, though!

        2. re: Veggo

          No no no, there are kashrut and halâl chorizos. I go to a halâl butcher for some things (yes merguez, also for cuts of lamb), and once tried the cured iberian kashrut chorizo they had there. It was good, and tasted correct. It was apparently made from veal and goose.

          I'm sure you could produce a fantastic product similar to Mexican chorizo from kosher ingredients. After all, look at ashkenazi cooking, compare it to the food from the people amongst whom the asheknazi lived for 1000+ years; I can't think of a significant central european dish that can't be made kosher or that doesn't have a kosher counterpart. It may not be exactly the same dish, but it's a clearly recognizable variation, not a poor substitute.

          I recently found a nice kashrut Côtes-du-Rhone on accident (shopping on a Sunday in France) ... I bet it would pair nicely with the chorizo. I may try a surprise kosher/halâl spread the next time I have friends over, and see if they can spot the theme :-)


        3. Jeff's Gourmet Sausage in Los Angeles has it and many other sausages that are all very good. I believe that they ship all over.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chuck


            Second that. Jeff's is tasty, but very black peppery, which might put some people off. I reall y like it, however.

          2. BTW, I recently bought a "chorizo", made in Montreal, at Kosher City Plus in Toronto.

            Crazy, outrageous price - but nice and fatty, spicy, and hard. A ghoulish and moldy casing peeled of in small bits to reveal a tasty treat which I cut into small pieces and enjoyed with a number of dishes.

            But that price....

            Never had real chorizo, so I don't know how authentic the flavouring is.

            1. In Mexico they used to sell a vegetarian version of chorizo that was heckshered. The brand was Itzel.