How many times have you dined out at a favorite Mexican restaurant and discovered a food or ingredient that your tastebuds found harmony with? If you are like a lot of people who love Mexican food, this happens to you a lot. One of the things found on most Mexican restaurant menus is chorizo. Chorizo is a spicy meat that tends to get served up alongside a fresh bowl of fire-grilled peppers and other veggies or chopped and served up in burritos or another dish. But what is chorizo, how is it made, and how do you get it for your own cooking endeavors at home? Here's all you want to know about this famous Mexican food ingredient.
What Is Chorizo?
In general terms, chorizo is pork that has been ground and cased into sausage shapes. The chorizo has a very telltale list of seasonings that is mixed with the meat before it is processed, so sometimes the chorizo can be fairly spicy and hot with a mouthwatering culmination of flavors like, smoky paprika, onion, and cayenne pepper. In some cases, chorizo will be less spicy and more on the sweet side.
How Is Chorizo Made?
Chorizo is made pretty much like any other type of sausage. Various cuts of pork are chopped and dropped into a meat grinder to create a ground meat consistency that can easily be shaped and formed. Once the pork is ground, it is combined with a full list of seasonings, but one of the main seasonings in any kind of chorizo is smoked paprika, which gives the meat its trademark reddish color hue. Chorizo can be either smoked or unsmoked, depending on who makes it and where the supplier is based, as Spanish chorizo is most often smoked and Mexican chorizo is most often not smoked.
Where Can You Find Chorizo?
Finding a Mexican chorizo supplier should be fairly easy if you have a local ethnic food supplier. Chorizo is a highly popular Mexican meat dish, and it is used at many Mexican restaurants nationwide. While some restaurants may make their own chorizo, most of them order this ingredient from a wholesale supplier because it can be so time-consuming to make in-house. If you are only looking for small quantities of chorizo, you can usually find it in your local grocery store in the freezer section, but you may not find it fresh like you would regular American-made pork sausage.