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Are Portuguese and Spanish Chorizo the same thing, and if not, can I substitute one for the other in recipes?

mwk Jan 25, 2013 01:18 PM


I keep seeing recipes that specifically call for "Spanish Chorizo". Since I live in the Boston area, I have no trouble finding Chorico and Linguica in the local supermarket. But, as far as I know, those are the Portuguese style ones. I don't know that I've ever seen "Spanish" style Chorizo in the market.

Are these interchangeable in recipes?

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  1. tcamp RE: mwk Jan 25, 2013 02:13 PM

    As long as you're talking about a hard sausage, then you'll be fine. I have found spanish chorizo in speciality cheese/meat places but not in supermarkets. You can also order from here:


    What are you making?

    1. chefj RE: mwk Jan 25, 2013 04:27 PM

      Not always.
      What kind of Chorizo are you subbing for?
      The Spanish have many different varieties of Sausage.
      What are you using it for

      1. C. Hamster RE: mwk Jan 25, 2013 04:47 PM

        You won't see Spanish chorizo in any supermarket here.

        But you will see Gaspar's and maybe a few other brands of chourico and linguica. Go gor the chourico. Its not a perfect sub but it works ok. I sub it in dishes when I don't want to sniff the real thing out from gourmet stores.

        1. paulj RE: mwk Jan 27, 2013 03:19 PM

          A Spanish chorizo like this Palacios brand


          has the consistency of a dry salami.

          I bet a linguica like this
          is similar.

          But it is easier to find (out west) a California or Hawaiian Portuguese linguica that is softer (more like kilbasa). It also has more noticeable vinegar note.

          The distinction between fresh Mexican chorizo and the dry Spanish is more important the differences between Spanish and Portuguese styles.

          1. f
            FriedClamFanatic RE: mwk Jan 27, 2013 03:36 PM

            Chourico.the Portuguese sausage is not the same as Spanish Chorizo, but similar enough for most recipes where they compliemt other items. Just make sure of the cooking requirements. Chourico (pronounced Chor-REES) is a spicier form of Linguica. Although both linguica and Chourico are smoked, they should be further cooked.

            Another alternative for most recipes calling for Chorizo can be Andouille saisage.

            1. Bacardi1 RE: mwk Jan 27, 2013 03:43 PM

              To make it easy, look at the recipe & see whether they're looking for a fresh or dry sausage - then choose accordingly. You'll find for the most part that the texture will be the important thing rather than the specific flavor.

              1. m
                mwk RE: mwk Jan 28, 2013 08:19 AM

                Thanks, everyone. I was thinking specifically of making this recipe from the NY Times, and it is a Spanish Tapas type of thing, so it probably needs the Spanish style sausage to get the intended taste.

                Hamster, I was thinking of the Gaspar's yes. I usually just assume that will work and go with it. However, I've seen a few different recipes where it specifically calls for "Spanish" Chorizo, so maybe I'll try and find some of that. I bet that Spanish market next to Estragon would have it.


                7 Replies
                1. re: mwk
                  paulj RE: mwk Jan 28, 2013 08:38 AM

                  A quick web search turned up this Portuguese kale and chorizo soup - substituting chickpeas for potatoes.


                  1. re: mwk
                    C. Hamster RE: mwk Jan 28, 2013 09:01 AM


                    An old thread about places here that sell the real thing

                    1. re: mwk
                      Bacardi1 RE: mwk Jan 28, 2013 03:02 PM

                      Okay - they're looking for the hard/dried or pre-cooked stuff. Look in the bacon area of your supermarket. Unless you're in a specialty market, that's where you're most likely to find it.

                      But really, any dried Spanish-type sausage will work in that recipe. And in a real pinch - gasp - you could even get away with some Italian pepperoni. No, it wouldn't be authentic, but it would work.

                      1. re: Bacardi1
                        C. Hamster RE: Bacardi1 Jan 28, 2013 03:28 PM

                        Around here they put all of the sausage product nearer the ham. And you won't find chorizo in a supermarket here, anyway. Or any other dry Spanish sausage.

                        So it's chourico or an upper scale store.

                        1. re: C. Hamster
                          Bacardi1 RE: C. Hamster Jan 29, 2013 06:30 AM

                          Perhaps not where you're located, but I can find it around here. It never hurts to look &/or ask.

                      2. re: mwk
                        JungMann RE: mwk Jan 29, 2013 07:38 AM

                        Spanish chorizo is there largely as a flavoring. If you want to recreate that flavor with chourico, just sizzle a couple cloves of garlic in the oil before the onions. Remove the browned garlic, add the onions and continue with the recipe as written, but increase the amount of pimenton slightly. Your recipe will taste very similar.

                        1. re: mwk
                          waver RE: mwk Jan 29, 2013 08:19 AM

                          Hey, I checked out this thread because I'm making that recipe tonight and was wondering which chorizo to get. Did you make it yet?

                        2. s
                          sr44 RE: mwk Jan 29, 2013 07:12 AM

                          If you can get to the Wegmans in Northborough, they have Spanish chorizo.

                          1. m
                            mwk RE: mwk Jan 29, 2013 08:13 AM

                            Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I ended up getting the bright idea to go to the Fruit Center Marketplace, which is a specialty grocer not far from me, and they had it. I keep forgetting that place is there.

                            I'm sure Whole Paycheck has it as well, next time I'm there I can look.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mwk
                              C. Hamster RE: mwk Jan 29, 2013 10:33 AM

                              The Milton Market? Thats right by me too. We're probably neighbiors.

                              Where do they keep it? They have a lot of great stuff but Ive never seen that there.

                              1. re: C. Hamster
                                mwk RE: C. Hamster Feb 14, 2013 11:06 AM

                                Sorry, I just saw this question. I found Citterio brand, pre sliced. It was in the gourmet section with all the salami/pepperoni, etc.

                                Amazingly enough, I was in Star Market yesterday, the one on Granite St. in Quincy, and they also had it, along with packages of Serrano ham and Pancetta. It was in the case with all the cheese and salamis.

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