I have several Spanish recipes that call for chorizo. This seems hard to find, except in stores that specialize in Spanish or Latin foods.
However, I find many stores sell a sausage made by a company specializing in Portuguese foods, labeled "CHOURIÇO". Can anyone tell what the difference is between this and chorizo, if any?
My guess is that if it's the sausage that is commonly found in stores, it's what a lot of folks refer to as Portuguese sausage. It tends to be heavier on the vinegar taste, and lighter on the paprika. I find that the actual Spanish version(s) tend to vary depending on the region that they're from. But in general, the vinegar/sourish taste is lighter, the pimenton is far more pronounced, and I tend to pick up on garlic more.
I think depending on what recipe you're trying to do, the chourico should work. If a recipe calls for something specific like morcilla (blood sausage) or a specific sausage that is dry-cured, semi-cured, uncooked or cooked, then you obviously should seek out the specific sausage or at least something that falls in that general category. I'm guessing that what you recently saw was semi-cured - not fully dry-cured like a dry Italian salami, and not uncooked like a breakfast sausage. The closest Spanish sausages to chourico that I've tried are the chorizo Bilbao and the Chistorra.