You might be surprised to learn how many different types of sausage there are; it's a food staple eaten worldwide and made with an amazing variety of ingredients. Countries have their own preparation and presentation traditions, and one that really stands out for this is Mexico. While other foods might come to mind first, like tortillas, chalupas and burritos, Mexican sausage is a delicious treat that can quickly become a favorite.
Mexican Sausage Name
Sausage is generally made out of ground or chopped beef, pork, chicken, veal or turkey, but there are also plenty of seafood, vegetarian and vegan versions. These either get stuffed into casings to form links, or they're cooked in the same way as ground meat. "Chorizo" is the word for Mexican and Spanish sausage, but the two have different tastes and textures. Both add plenty of flavor to dishes.
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Mexican chorizo is usually fresh and is either cooked like sausage links or ground meat. It is finely ground, mixed with red peppers (giving it the bright orange color) and other spices and sold fresh. It is usually made with pork, but you can also make it with other proteins.
Spanish chorizo has a smokier taste and is made with paprika. You'll see it on cheese plates, but it's also incorporated in dishes like paella, rice and stews. It is also sold after it has been smoked and cured, so it's fully cooked with a firm, hard texture.
Mexican Sausage Types
Mexican chorizo isn't always super spicy; chorizo seco (dry) is made with pork, garlic, sea salt and paprika and offers a balanced, mild taste. Chorizo verde (green) includes pork, green peppers and green tomatoes and offers a spicier flavor profile. Red chorizo is the spiciest of the three, and you can make it from pork, pork fat or other meats and a healthy dose of chili pepper. Unlike Spain, Mexico's geographic environment and geography are not conducive to making paprika, so chili pepper is used in its place and is combined with vinegar.
Always remove the casings before cooking Mexican sausages and keep in mind that the ingredients inside may be loose because they are fresh. It's rich and fatty, and you can eat it on its own or use it to add depth and a good kick to other dishes. The spiciness will hit your palate at the first bite, usually followed by a tangy, vinegary aftertaste.
Other Types of Sausage
You wouldn't think Sweden would be known for sausage, but its falukorv (falu sausage) is a big deal there and has existed since the 16th century. It's generally made with pork or beef and has onion, pork fat, spices and sugar. Like Spanish chorizo, falukorv is generally cooked before packaging. Germany's bratwurst contains pork, beef or veal and goes well with curry ketchup.
Heading over to England's sausages, you have saveloy. These contain pork, spices, salt, potato starch and sometimes a bit of paprika or cayenne pepper. They look like hot dogs, but you can also find them battered and fried. South African boerewors sausage is like bratwurst but is much spicier; it has clover, coriander, nutmeg and vinegar. For something completely out of the box, South Korea's soondae (sundae) is a well-loved street food made from steamed or boiled cow or pig intestines filled with noodles, spices and blood.