You can easily confuse longaniza for chorizo and vice versa due to their similar packaging. Both longaniza and chorizo can be packaged as raw sausages or as cured dried ready-to-eat sausages. But, truth is, longaniza and chorizo are totally different in terms of flavor, texture, stuffing (meat used), and sometimes the shape.
The difference between longaniza and chorizo is that longaniza is made from minced meat which gives it a thin texture and is spiced with black pepper while chorizo is made from ground pork, giving it a thick texture, and is spiced with paprika.
What is longaniza?
Longaniza is a Spanish sausage but a bit longer than a normal sausage, made with minced meat and flavored with black pepper. However, the flavoring may vary depending on the region although the main flavoring remains to be black pepper.
In Mexico, they make longaniza a bit more spicy unlike Argentina where they use anise seeds for a sweet and mild flavor.
Being a Spanish dish, it’s mostly popular in Spain and Spanish-speaking regions.
What is chorizo?
Chorizo is a spicy Spanish sausage made from ground pork and flavored with smoked paprika. It has a thick texture due to its processing and packaging method and is commonly presented as wide short sausages made from a long sausage separated by strings.
Chorizo is used in both Mexican and Spanish cuisine making it a popular dish not only in Spain but also in other Spanish-speaking regions.
Longaniza vs Chorizo Differences
Meat texture is not only the most defining difference between longaniza and chorizo but also the type of meat used. Longaniza is made from any meat without restrictions whereas chorizo is strictly made from pork usually a mixture of lean meat and fat.
When it comes to cooking, you can cook longaniza with its casing just like the normal sausage or simply slice it and add it to a recipe. Chorizo, on the other hand, you’ll have to remove the casing and cook it like ground meat.
Here’s a table with more differences between longaniza and chorizo:
|It’s stuffed with minced meat||It’s stuffed with ground pork|
|Spiced with black pepper||Spiced with paprika|
|Popular in Spain and Spanish speaking countries||Popular in Spain, Spanish-speaking regions and outside.|
|Presented as one long sausage||Presented as wide short sausages made from a long sausage separated by a string|
|Has a thinner texture due to the processing and packaging method||Has a thick texture|
Can you substitute longaniza for chorizo and vice versa?
You can use longaniza in place for chorizo but you can not use chorizo in place for longaniza. Since longaniza is not as spicy as chorizo, you can adjust the flavor by simply adding smoked paprika and substitute it for chorizo.
On the other hand, due to the spicy nature of chorizo, adding it to any recipe that calls for longaniza can ruin the flavor of the entire meal especially if it was meant to be mild-flavored.
How is Longaniza Cooked?
Longaniza is basically cooked almost the same way you would sausage, although you will need to boil it first. Other alternative is slicing and adding it in stir fried dishes or pasta dishes.
- Put Longanizo into a skillet
- Add water to slightly cover your longaniza
- Boil over medium heat until the water evaporates
- Turn the heat to low medium
- Let the longaniza fry in their oily juice for 6-8 minutes until they are brown. You can poke them with a fork to release more juice as you stir.
- Serve with fried rice
After boiling, you can grill them for 15 minutes as you turn until all sides are evenly cooked.
How is chorizo cooked?
Chorizo is a combination of both lean meat and fat, meaning the addition of oil during cooking is not necessary as it makes it greasier and unhealthy. To avoid making your chorizo greasier, simply start by frying chorizo first ( instead of starting with onion because it will need oil to cook through)so that it can produce its own oil then add onion and garlic.
- Remove your chorizo from the casing and put it in a skillet.
- Place the skillet on a stove and set it to low medium heat.
- Keep stirring your chorizo as it cooks to break the meat until it is completely separate.
- Add onion and garlic and cook until the meat turns brown.
- Drain the grease. If you feel your chorizo is still too oily, put it on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease.
- Serve with tortillas or tacos.
This is just the basic method of cooking and serving chorizo but not the only way to do it as it is a versatile food.
Other than using chorizo as a filling, once you drain the excess grease, add fried potatoes or eggs and cook until they are well scrambled then serve for breakfast or simply stir in refried beans and serve as a side dish. You can also incorporate chorizo in soups to thicken and add flavor. In places like Mexico, they actually use chorizo as a topping in some pizzas.
How do you like your chorizo?
Share with us any other recipe that you’ve tried with chorizo or longaniza and how it came out.
Mexican chorizo vs Spanish chorizo
Both Mexican and Spanish chorizo is flavored with smoked paprika however due to the fact that Mexicans love their food spicier, Mexican chorizo tends to be spicier than Spanish chorizo.
When it comes to production, Mexican chorizo is usually produced as raw sausage whereas Spanish chorizo is produced either raw or cured.
While it is impossible to substitute Mexican chorizo for Spanish chorizo due to its spicy nature, you can substitute Spanish chorizo for Mexican chorizo especially if it is raw. Raw meat soaks in flavors better than cooked or rather cured meat.
Simply adjust the flavor of your raw Spanish chorizo by adding spices to match that of Mexican chorizo then use it in the intended recipe.
Chorizo vs hot Italian sausage
Italian sausage is made from pork or any other meat and flavored with fennel seeds and red pepper while chorizo is particularly made from pork and flavored with paprika. Chorizo can either be raw or smoked whereas Italian sausage is usually raw.
It’s no doubt that longaniza and chorizo are tasty foods whether on their own or in a dish. However, they contain unhealthy fat which can cause health issues later on in life if not eaten in moderation.