In simple terms, chorizo refers to a spicy pork sausage that’s sealed in a casing made of animal intestines. There are many different types of chorizo, but perhaps two of the most popular are Spanish and Mexican chorizo.  A major difference between Mexican and Spanish chorizo is that the Mexican version typically comes uncooked and raw, whereas Spanish chorizo is typically sold ready-to-eat.  The Spanish version of Chorizo is different from Mexico’s primarily due to Spain’s much longer aging process.  Spanish Chorizo is more like salami; harder and smokier, while the Mexican sausage that is generally enjoyed is akin to a fresh Italian sausage; juicier and spicier.

Catalonia is the probable birth home of chorizo though without the contributions of peppers from Central and South America they would not have the distinctive peppers of modern chorizo.

The chorizo was the first of the Spanish sausages to be defined by the Royal Academy of Language in the Dictionary of Authorities, 1726 as “short piece of gut, filled with meat, regularly pork, chopped and seasoned, usually cured by the smoke.” In that time, paprika spice was not very common in the Spanish charcuterie. The two Spanish varieties of paprika, known in Spain as “pimentón” come from the Comarca de La Vera in Cáceres province and a variety from Murcia region, both of which were introduced from the Americas, where they originate by local monks in the 1500s.

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