Differences Between Salchichón And Chorizo

Salchichón and chorizo ​​are two of the most popular sausages in Spain. We discover the differences between these two foods so that you can easily identify them.

Among the most valued jewels of our gastronomy are cured meats such as chorizo ​​and salchichón, essential on any sausage board. These meat products differ in aspects such as their flavor, their ingredients and their production process: we discover the main differences here. Since both products come from pork, they differ in several key aspects.

What is salchichón

Salchichón is a cured sausage that is made using different types of meat, mainly pork, as well as fat and spices. Although the most common is made with pork, sausage can also be made from beef, game meats such as deer or wild boar, or birds such as turkey.

What is chorizo

Chorizo ​​is a cured sausage generally made with pork as well as fat and spices, especially paprika. In the same way, you can make chorizo ​​from beef, wild boar, deer, and even white meat such as turkey.

What are the differences between salchichón and chorizo?

The clearest difference between salchichón and chorizo ​​is their color, as well as their texture and flavor, although these two meat products also differ in their ingredients, their drying period, their fat content or their culinary uses.

Ingredients and fat: chorizo ​​has paprika

Salchichón is generally made with lean pork plus a portion of fat and then seasoned with ingredients such as garlic and salt, as well as spices such as cloves, pepper, and nutmeg that give it that flavor. so characteristic. Likewise, the pork intestine will be necessary to wrap the mixture of fat and meat that will serve as a natural packaging for the meat product.

Chorizo, on the other hand, also includes among its main ingredients a percentage of fat, garlic, salt, and spices such as sweet or spicy paprika, which gives it its characteristic color and flavor. Other spices that can be used to season meat are cumin, pepper, and oregano.

Regarding its fat percentage, we must keep in mind that salchichón contains a greater amount of fat than chorizo, since salchichón has around 38% fat, while chorizo ​​has a fat content of 32%.

Preparation and drying period: the salami is more cured

The salchichón is made by finely chopping the meat to mix it with the bacon chopped in the same way. Later, this mixture of meat and fat will be seasoned with spices. After the process of marinating the meat, it is stuffed into a pork casing, which will be closed at one end with a rope, so that as the meat is introduced it is well pressed inside the casing. Finally, the sausage is dried, in which the already prepared pieces are left in suspension in a cool, dry place, allowing air to circulate between the pieces to begin curing in natural dryers for 2 to 3 months.

Chorizo ​​is also prepared by chopping the meat very finely and mixing it with the equally chopped bacon. After having the meat and bacon well combined, the meat is seasoned with the spices and in this case, the mixture is left to marinate for 24 hours. After this maceration time, the meat is carefully introduced into the pork belly, which will be tied at one end with a thin rope so that the meat is pressed. Finally, the drying of the sausage will take place, where the pieces are hung in a cool and dry space but allowing the air to circulate between them for approximately a month and a half, unlike the 2 or 3 months of the sausage to complete its curing or drying process.

Flavor, texture, and color: from mildest to most intense

Salchichón has a sweet and delicate flavor that, depending on the amount of spices such as pepper, can sometimes be spicy. Its compact texture is also characterized by its firmness. And as for the color, it stands out for its intense red hue with veins of white fat integrated inside.

As far as chorizos are concerned, the flavors can vary depending on whether sweet or spicy paprika has been used. However, in any case a more intense and persistent flavor predominates than that of salchichón with a very marked paprika flavor. The texture that characterizes it is softer and less compact than that of salami, making it much more tender and juicy. If we look at its color, its visual appearance can vary from intense orange to reddish tones, among which the white spots caused by fat stand out.

Culinary uses; chorizo, more versatile in cooking

Regardless of serving it to consume it alone on a plate or sausage board, as well as to fill sandwiches, salchichón can be used as part of other recipes or dishes in which we look for the intensity of flavor and those nuances that characterize it. We can highlight the flavor of stews, broths, and rice recipes by incorporating small pieces of sausage. To avoid that possible bitter aftertaste from overcooking the sausage, it will be enough to cook the sausage for a short time.

As for chorizo, like salchichón, it can be eaten alone as a food in itself, prepared as a charcuterie board, or used as a tasty filling for sandwiches. However, unlike salchichón, we could say that chorizo ​​has been given greater culinary use in kitchens. Traditional stews and stews such as cocido madrileño are enriched with a piece of chorizo; it can also be added in very small pieces to stir-fries to enhance its flavor. It can be eaten fried and served with some crumbs or as an accompaniment to fried eggs. It can be added to scrambled eggs, and can even be prepared on the grill.

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