As far as sausages are concerned, chorizo, whether from white or Iberian pigs, is undoubtedly the most widely consumed and the most popular internationally. There are various formats and types of chorizo, although the ingredients for its preparation are practically the same. The most notable differences lie simply in the meat used, which can be of two types depending on the pig's diet, which we will tell you about below.
Different types of Iberian chorizo.
Within the range of Iberian chorizo sausages, you will basically find two types based on the type of pig used to make them: Iberian chorizo sausage and Iberico de bellota chorizo sausage.
Within these categories, you can see the word "Cular" or "Semicular", referring to the part of the pig's large intestine used to make the sausages, each with a different diameter for stuffing thicker or thinner pieces.
As they are natural casings, and there are also artificial ones for other types of Iberian sausages of lower quality, they ensure a more optimal, slower curing process that does not alter the flavour of the product as they are part of the same animal. In our online shop of Spanish hams and sausages, we only sell sausages with natural casing.
According to the format, the most commercialised Iberian chorizo is the Iberian chorizo cular and the Iberian chorizo semicular, which are the largest in diameter and straight in shape; the Iberian chorizo de herradura, smaller in diameter and shaped like a horseshoe; and the Iberian chorizo vela, narrower in format and straight in shape.
The 'chorizo cular' and 'chorizo semicular' weigh around 1 kg, although they are marketed in half-pieces. The chorizo de herradura, usually weighs around 300-350 gr. and the chorizo de vela ibérico, the smallest among them, weighs around 250 gr.
Any of them can be Iberian only, made with 50% Iberian breed pigs and feed-fed pigs are used, and acorn-fed Iberian, which in turn can be 50% or 100% Iberian breed. In both cases they have been fed with acorns and raised in freedom, the only difference is the racial purity, as in the Iberian acorn ham, the 100% purebred, the pata negra, will have more infiltrated fat.
Ingredients and preparation of Iberian chorizo.
In theory, the formula for making a good chorizo is very simple: lean pork, pork fat, salt and paprika, which can be sweet, spicy or a mixture of both. The practice is another story and many more factors come into play, especially when it comes to preparation and drying.
The meat and fat are minced separately, seasoned and the casings are stuffed with the mixture. Once finished, they are dried for a period of 3 to 5 months, depending on the size of the pieces, in rooms with no light and at an optimum temperature and humidity. It should be noted that quality sausages mature in natural rooms, like many hams, where the temperature is regulated by manual processes by opening and closing windows.
By way of information, it is important to mention a typical test that is usually carried out once the meat has been seasoned, the 'pork test', which has even become a traditional dish: it consists of taking some of the meat prepared to make chorizo, frying it and eating it, to check whether it has the right amount of salt and paprika. The pork test is so successful that in many cases as much meat is reserved for testing as for making Iberian chorizo.
At Jamón Pasión we offer you Iberian sausages of the best quality and at the best price, mostly from 100% acorn-fed Iberian pigs, both in whole pieces, halves and locheado and vacuum-packed.