It is a funny thing, but you can find chorizo in most Mexican restaurants here in the U.S. and not in Mexico. There are several reasons for that. All of the reasons have to do with the origins of this spicy type of sausage and the availability of its ingredients. The following helps explain the origins of chorizo and why you are not likely to find it in Mexico.
Spanish and Portuguese
The Spanish and Portuguese were the first ones to create chorizo. (The Portuguese spell it "chourico," and it is pronounced "koor-e-so".) They used pig intestines as casings and meat scraps ground up with chili peppers as filler. It was primarily consumed by poorer classes and kept on sailing ships to feed the crew because it was cured with salt and less likely to rot than other meats.
The Spanish and Portuguese sailors would take lots of chorizo on board when they sailed for the New World. They exchanged some of the chorizo for fresh meat with the natives when they arrived. That is how chorizo entered the food cultures of Latin and South America.
Why It Is Hard to Find in Mexico
Pigs were not common in Mexico, with the exception of wild razorback pigs. You definitely did not want to hunt these animals if you did not have to, and you did not want to use their intestines or meet for chorizo either. Spices like paprika had to be imported, and that was expensive. While poorer people in Spain and Portugal could afford to make and/or buy this sausage, it was not possible for hundreds of years in Mexico. Only wealthy Spanish landlords could afford the ingredients and the importation of domestic pigs.
Fast-forward to the present, and chorizo has become more of a "Tex-Mex" thing. You may find some chorizo for sale in markets close to the Mexican-Texas border, but given the lack of health and food regulations there, you may not want to purchase it. Also, traditional chorizo is not cooked, so you definitely take your chances buying it from an open market in Mexico.
Getting Clean, Healthy Chorizo in the States
In the U.S., food production is heavily regulated. Chorizo produced here is promoted as "Mexican" but is totally made from Spanish or Portuguese recipes. What lends itself to being "Mexican" chorizo are some of the chilies used to spice it up. Still, if you are hankering for this spicy sausage, visit a Mexican restaurant or order from a Mexican chorizo distributor.Share
19 September 2018
How do you go about feeding 100 guests three meals a day for five days? Can this be done easily? Is it going to cost an arm and a leg? This is exactly what I was left to figure out for our family campground. Since we are a non-profit organization, we work on a very tight budget. The money that comes in all goes directly back into the camp, so I have very little to work with each year. If you are trying to feed a large number of people on a very tight budget, visit my blog. There, you will find several tips and ideas that can help make it possible.