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Best Brand of Linguica in the New Bedford Area [moved from Boston]

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I'm visiting the Cape and want to take some linguica home with me. Can anyone suggest a preferred brand? Is there any method of cooking that would eliminate some of the saltiness? Thanks.

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  1. Gaspars is the largest: http://www.gasparssausage.com/

    I would ask the people at the butcher shop your salt question. I would think cooking it in tomato sauce would dilute the saltiness of the actual sausage and spread it out thru the sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mjg0725

      I am partial to Mello's.

      http://www.melloschourico.com/

      In order of preference among the supermarket brands, I go Amaral's, Furtado's then Gaspar's.

    2. Hopefully itaunas will pipe in here.

      We absolutely love the Açoreana brand from Fall River, especially the spicy chouriço.

      11 Replies
      1. re: bear

        The OP has already gotten expert advice, so not certain what I can contribute except that I agree that Amaral's is the best of the supermarket brands and Mello's seems like a decent suggestion, as well Açoreana and I like Sardinha's. :-) Not a big fan of Michael's, but that is another smaller brand available on the South Coast.

        I do want to point out that there is no need to go to New Bedford (or Fall River) to purchase linguica or chourico from a smaller smokehouse, its available in the Greater Boston area. And the advantage of that is if you like something, you can easily buy it again locally. In Cambridge two places I would suggest are Courthouse Fish Market and Fernandes Fish Market, both of which get deliveries of sausages from Fall River. My personal preference is the chourico Courthouse carries from Western MA (Ludlow or Chicopee) -- delivered once a week on Thursdays, but its heavier on paprika, wine/vinegar, so while its good to my tastes those may not match up with the OP since they were concerned about salt. Fernandes you can also get fresh cheese from the South Coast -- from Martin Cheese company, as well as Bom Petisco from RI. They also have nice imported cheeses, although at Seabra they have more pre-packaged in smaller portions. The Seabra Market on Somerville Ave is also worth a visit as they had an even wider selection of options -- chourico "caseiro," plus things like alheiras (from Portuguese jewish traditions and meant to be eaten pure) as well as chourico transmontano (a regional style from tras-os-montes) but I haven't been for a while so am not 100% certain what they are carrying.

        As far as shopping on the way back from the cape, do you mean on a Sunday afternoon? I'll mention that a lot of smaller Portuguese stores are either closed Sunday or open in the morning until 1 or 2pm (to catch folks leaving a noon mass). If you have the extra time, I might suggest a side trip to Fall River instead of New Bedford. At Chaves market you can find most of the brands mentioned above, as well as other goods and Nobrega's is a bit further up Columbia Street which I would go first for chourico -- Chaves has longer hours on Sunday (5 or 6pm?). If its not Sunday, I believe Mello's and Furtado's you can visit.

        In New Bedford there is a decent market on Bellville Ave between Coggshall and Sawyer -- I don't know the name offhand, but there is Portuguese ceramics in the window and at the butcher in the back they have a decent selection of linguicas, chouricos, and salpicao. There is easy access from the highway and I think its open later in the afternoon Sunday. If you go earlier in the day (its one of the places that closes early Sunday), about a mile further down Belleville Ave on Belleville Rd (between B Ave and Acushnet) is the New Bedford Salchicharia. Amaral's on Belleville carries some (mainly a fish market), but I think they have limited hours. There are other options in New Bedford, but I don't know them as well. Even if you go to Sid Wainer and Son's (which is worth a trip in general), you will find some nicer local linguica/chourico although it will be a bit more expensive.

        As far as the salt, how are you cooking it? That would make a difference. If grilling of making chourico a bombeiro, I guess you could simmer them a bit or for grilling look up Kenji Alt's method if you are going to use other seasonings like peppers/onions because the way he does it they should soak up a bit of the salt. If stewing use stock without salt. You couild fry smaller pieces too or a linguica and egg sandwich can temper the salt between the roll and eggs. Particularly with coarsely chopped sausages (more common with chourico) cook them gently because if the fat chunks heat up too quickly they will burst. Alheiras (or farinheiras) might be a bit lighter on salt, also so called "healthier" versions like Gaspar's turkey, but in general these sausages come from a preserving tradition (you would salt the meat and stuff the "enchidos" at the time of "matanca" and then the sausages would be hung in a smoke room or even over a wood stove to dry and smoke). Because of the shrinkage in partially dried sausages, I would think the supermarket brands overall would taste a bit less salty (they want less shrinkage).

        1. re: itaunas

          Are you aware of any places in the close-in Boston area that serve linguica pizza? I would like to try that, but would prefer not to drive an hour to do so! Thanks.

          1. re: Alcachofa

            La Hacienda in Somerville has a bar style pizza with linguica which I find is a guilty pleasure. "Chablis" on tap too! The Snack Bar also has linguica pizza, but theirs is more of a Greek style pizza. Both use cheddar in the topping as far as I know. (Update: speculated that Skampa could have linguica as one of their toppings, but it doesn't look like they do.) The East Side Bar and Grill also offers linguica and their pizzas are quite good, although I have found them really skimpy on the topics so I might ask them to add extra.

            1. re: Alcachofa

              The only thing from my youth in New Bedford I miss is linguica pizza. Generally it is ground, not sliced. I don't miss the pizza that it was on, as New Bedford is predominantly Greek pizza places (may be better now), and I'm not a fan of Greek pizza.

              1. re: kimfair1

                Johnnie's and Market Basket sell linguica (filling) in ground form, but the places I mentioned use sliced as much as I can remember. Linguica and cheap cheddar cheese blend lead to a very greasy pizza. I do like the bar pizza, but not so much Snack Bar's greek (I am not against greek pizza, though), but East Side might be the best bet if you want more of a NY style pizza underneath.

                1. re: itaunas

                  I thought the general "rule" for pizza was that linquica is usually sliced and chourice is usually ground ?

                  1. re: LStaff

                    I am not from the South Coast where chourico pizza is more common, so I couldn't really tell you, but in East Cambridge and Somerville linguica pizza is about as far as you usually get. Winter Hill Bakery I believe has a bakery pizza with linguica bits which I forgot about above. I haven't seen a lot of places on the South Coast offering both linguica and chourico pizza, but wasn't looking. In general sausage bits instead of slices were a lot more common in years past vs links. Certainly with Greek style pizza which is common to the South, but some Italian pizza places too. Places which put cheese over the toppings often use smaller toppings like bits and fry them first.

                    BTW, because of the regional nature of Portuguese cooking Linguica and Chourico mean different things in different places. What is chourico de carne in Lisbon is linguica in the Alentejo... and linguica is something different in Lisbon (thinner for frying), whereas they are the same size in the Azores. So assumptions like "chourico is more roughly chopped and linguica is ground" (not necessarily true in the Alentejo) can hold as well as "chourico is more spicy and linguica is less so" (really this varies, if anything chourico is more likely to have wine), but vary somewhat across Portugal and are not consistent in the US diaspora. And in Brazil its even more different -- chourico can basically mean morcela but it certainly has blood (in Portugual there are chouricos with blood too, but they are regional) and linguica has a lot of meanings including Italian style sausages, so you need "linguica portuguesa" for something resembling portuguese chourico or linguica. So its hard to make a general rule and your assumption possibly holds for the south coast, but I would shy away from a "rule."

                    1. re: LStaff

                      Growing up in New Bedford we always had pizza from Lukalo's pizza, and there's was always ground (linguica or chourico). Not sure of other places, but it was always ground for me growing up. I did have ground pepperoni at a pizzeria in Indiana, that was really great.

                2. re: Alcachofa

                  Not your average Joe's actually has decent Linguica pizza.

                  O'Donnells Pub in Randolph has good linguica pizza. It's very much a dive, but good pizza at a better price than Town Spa.

                3. re: itaunas

                  I got served Açoreana linguiça with my eggs at a recent weekday breakfast at The Neighborhood, and really liked it (enough to ask the brand).

                  Does anyone know of a retail source for it in the Boston area?

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    We get it at Courthouse Seafood in Cambridge, and have purchased it at Fernandes Market up the street in the past. Good stuff.

              2. Furtado's extra spicy was always my go to

                1. Chowhound has a Southeastern New England board covering New Bedford and the Cape that might have some useful suggestions as well.

                  1. Genes market on brighton ave in fall river is the best chourico ive had,and weve tried lots.they make and smoke it right there,they have mild and spicy,both are awesome,they also have those country style ribs marinated in the spice mixture,delish! lots of other portuguese treats too.

                    1. Amaral's is the best. Most tender and has the best flavor.
                      You can buy it in Stop & Shop and Shaw's on the Cape. They also have a website for mail order.