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Chaurice?

I was reading a story about life in New Orleans 50 or 60 years ago, and there was a line in there about how wise cooks knew that 'chaurice' was the best sausage to go into jambalaya. It was further described only as 'a distinctive spicy sausage'.

Well, I've never heard of it. Is it extinct? Does it now go by a different name? Is it available anywhere? Are there any longtime N.O. locals who can remember this?

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  1. Charice is still available, at least in the northeast...My Fall River friends use it interchangeably with chorizo, which makes it more confusing...always thought they were mispronouncing it

    2 Replies
    1. re: BiscuitBoy

      In nearby RI, we always pronounced chorizo "chaurice."

      Now that I think about it, that's similar to pronouncing ricotta "rigautt."

      1. re: Bob W

        For a variety of historical reasons, there are New Orleans accents that resemble the urban accents of the Northeast.

    2. In south-eastern New England (think the arc from Providence RI to Gloucester MA), where the Lusophone communities have roots going back centuries, there is Portuguese-style chouriço (pronounced locally like chaurice) and linguiça (lingueesa), with the former having more red pepper than the latter. The prominent regional makers (Gaspar's and Amaral's tend to have the widest distribution - they are normally part of the sausage case in the vast majority of supermarkets in Greater Boston, for example - but there are several others) are concentrated in Fall RIver and New Bedford MA:

      http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/p...

      Gaspar's:

      http://www.gasparssausage.com/

      Amaral's:

      http://www.amarals.com/store/index.php

      I don't know if this style of sausage replicates what was formerly used in New Orleans but it's commonly used with a wide variety of shellfish and pork dishes in Portuguese cuisine (as well as one of the most distinctive and beloved soups of New England - kale soup, the local descendant of Portugal's caldo verde), and that strikes me as very compatible with New Orleans style eats.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        Very interesting. I have recently become acquainted with some Portuguese-Americans from MA and was initially perplexed by their pronunciation, particularly the manner in which they drop final vowels, i.e. verde = verd, chouriço = chaurice, but vinho = vinyoo.

        1. re: JungMann

          Emeril is a Fall River boy (his mother is Portuguese), wiith an affinity for New Orleans cooking.

          I could see the classic dish of pork, clams and potatoes from the Alentajo region of Portugal being adopted and adapted in New Orleans:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carne_de...

        2. re: Karl S

          Aside from the pronounciation, I really thought they were 2 different sausages?

          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            We do not have a Portuguese community here so I am not at all familiar with their sausages but I have always assumed they were two different sausages also. According to the Epicurious food dictionary, chaurice is pronounced shoh REEC; I guess that indicates the ending is a soft C rather than a hard C.

            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              I didn't say they were the same...but suspected they might suffice if the old local style was (as was originally alleged) not readily available.

          2. Cajungrocer.com has a chaurice by Poche. I imagine you can find other online suppliers of Cajun goods that can supply it.

            I can't speak for NO locals but it is out there. Maybe it's kind of been neglected with more attention being paid to andouille and boudin? Have you tried just searching the NOLA/La board? Chowhound probably would move the topic if you posted over there but you might find a lots of mentions in other discussions.

            There is even a place here in Houston that produces one to use in their Cajun dishes although for sale in grocery stores it's just labeled Cajun sausage, I think, with chaurice in small print.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dexmat

              I did originally post on the New Orleans board but within just a few minutes the moderators notified me that it was moved to this one. The N.O. board is one of my daily haunts, but I had never heard it mentioned before. I'll try a search.

              It occured to me after I posted that 'chaurice' might be a colloquialization of 'chorizo'. It no doubt would have occured to me sooner if I had said the word out loud, but just seing it in print, all I picked up on was the similarity to 'Maurice".

              I just looked at cajungrocer.com,, and I may order some, but I do have a local sausagemaker who may be able to concoct some for me (Turns out there are many recipes on line).

              Somehow I never think of New England as a source of sausage, but I've never been there. I will check out those recommendations too. Thanks everybody.

              1. re: Fydeaux

                I dug out my Cajun cookbooks; only one of them, published in 1978, mentions chaurice; the others are Creole Smoked Sausage, Creole Hot Sausage and Andouille. They give recipes for making the sausages but not much explanation of how they're used but they do mention the cookbook authors use chaurice as a breakfast sausage. Chaurice is the only one that does not include liquid smoke.

                The ingredients include lean pork, pork fat, onion, garlic, cayenne, chili powder, crushed red pepper, s&p, thyme, parsley, bay and allspice.

            2. You've got to be careful about sausage names as they can mean totally different things depending on the country or even region. In Louisiana, at least in my experience, chaurice is always a fresh (raw) sausage typically made with pork shoulder, with spices similar to andouille (which is usually hot-smoked). It is nothing like Mexican chorizo you find in supermarkets, which is made from salivary glands, or Spanish chorizo, which is dry cured.

              Here is a recipe.

              http://www.nolacuisine.com/2006/11/11...

              As for "best" in jambalaya, it depends on what you like. I prefer the smokiness of andouille, but if you also add tasso or a good smoked ham, either will do.

              To be honest, I don't recall eating chaurice growing up in NO. I think it's been rediscovered.

              1. Elite Cafe in SF used to serve chaurice with red beans and rice back in the mid/late 80's. I recall that it was very tasty, but not particularly distinctive. If they still had it, I would order it again.