Mexican Chorizo

Mexican chorizo is a spicy sausage, traditionally made with pork, that is cooked before being properly made. Beyond the obvious meat component, Mexican chorizo relies upon chili peppers to give it a "picante" quality that distinguishes itself from other sausage.

'Picante' is a Spanish word that refers to heat in terms of spiciness; "caliente" refers to heat in the sense of temperature. A properly made Mexican chorizo will have just enough seasoning to excite the senses without causing your eyes to water.

Since Mexican chorizo is a sausage, it can be enjoyed by itself or as one of the components in a recipe, especially as a beef substitute. Mexico's state capital, Toluca de Lerdo, is well-known for its green version of Mexican chorizo. This "chorizo verde" results from the inclusion of tomatillos and other green ingredients.

Mexican chorizo is a staple ingredient of items served by street food vendors and it can even be found as a pizza topping. One of the simplest and most filling breakfast recipes for Mexican chorizo is to simply mix it in with scrambled eggs, resulting in "chorizo con huevos;" literally "chorizo with eggs."

Chilaquiles con chorizo

© MMChicago - Chilaquiles con chorizo

While there are differences between the Mexican and the Spanish chorizo, these differences mostly break down into the choice of seasoning and the cut of meat. The expense of importing paprika, as is common in Spanish recipes, forced the Mexicans to resort to using native chili peppers to fill the role of seasoning. This culinary divide means that Spanish chorizo can also be made with "dulce", or sweet, ingredients; Mexican chorizo is always picante.