A very misleading chorizo package

Chorizo for cooking

I was casually browsing the aisles of deli meats yesterday, when my eyes noticed the “Discovered in Catalunya” sentence. I was like “wait, what?” 🤔

I was in a rush, so I did not look at the label in the package to find out if the producer is based in Catalunya. The product page in Waitrose’s website doesn’t specify where the product is coming from either.

The entire packaging is very misleading, and I have so many objections about it… exactly four.

ONE: the cured meats most commonly associated with Catalunya are not chorizo, but items such as botifarres, saltxitxes, or fuet.

Chorizo is something I’d associate with the west of Spain instead, i.e. the area adjacent to Portugal.

A quick look at the Spanish Wikipedia page for chorizo confirmed my hunch: this type of cured meat started when paprika was imported from America and established in La Vera, where it is still grown to date. (I mentioned using this type of paprika in my courghetti with tomato and onion sauce recipe).

The weather is ideal to produce chorizos, as it’s very dry and cold, and so the meat is cured nicely, and can be preserved for long, which was very important when people did not have fridges, let alone electricity.

Street in Candelario
Candelario is a town in Salamanca, famous for its cured meats

Some anecdotal evidence: when we visited our family in West Spain, we were treated to some heavy chorizo meat dishes (the chorizo mix, without the ‘skin’). We also had the chance to try out hornazo, which is a sort of cake filled with chorizo. You can see it’s truly a traditional product of the area. I’ve never seen anything like that in Catalunya!

TWO: you would not normally bake the chorizo, but grill it.

If you don’t have a grill or gridle, you would “fry” it in a pan. You normally don’t need to add oil because chorizo to cook has a lot of fat already, and it will melt with the heat.

THREE: YOU DO NOT ADD CHORIZO TO PAELLA.

Let me  repeat:

YOU DO NOT ADD CHORIZO TO PAELLA.

It’s gross, inadequate, disgusting, in bad taste, and also absolutely wrong, because paella is a dish of multiple subtle flavours. And chorizo is many things, but it is not “subtle”. The smokiness and fattiness of chorizo would take over the entire spectrum of flavours, and result in “chorizo with rice”. That is not paella.

FOUR: What is wrong with the way you cook chicken that makes you need to add chorizo to it?

I disagree that “chorizo is a must for chicken”. What happened to your taste buds? My only guess is that if you add chorizo to everything (as you seem to be trying really hard to do) you eventually have no taste buds left.

My advice is that you limit your chorizo cooking to what it is traditionally used: stews! migas! Etc.

And give your taste buds a break. You’ll thank me.

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