Chorizo de Bilbao

A regular ingredient to many of our dishes is Chorizo de Bilbao.

Traditionally, this was purchased in the Philippines & in the US in a green can with the notation of “Marca el Rey” on the label.

There seems to be some confusion in reading various blogs over the internet about the origins of Chorizo de Bilbao.  Many assumed it was of Spanish origin and then somehow came to the conclusion that it never came from Spain originally and that is purely a Filipino creation that ended up being manufactured & shipped out of Chicago initially and more recently out of Nebraska.

This is the can we all remember:

chorizosHowever, in recent years we’ve all noticed its lack of availability and its lack of flavor (reincarnated by ConAgra foods and now Purefoods).   It has definitely been a disappointment to cook with and have been looking for a better substitute.

Believe it or not, Italian pepperoni will do in a pinch (just be sure to buy a very flavorful brand) over the Filipino-made varieties.

I think this winter, I’m going to order a couple of different ones to check  out:

http://www.laespanolameats.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=LEM&Product_Code=1330&Category_Code=SemiCured

I wanted to go back to the misconception that Chorizo de Bilbao does not have roots in Spain.  It does.  Read on!

From the La Espanola website:

Chorizo de Bilbao: One of Spain’s most popular cooking chorizos, this is another sausage originally from the Basque provinces and around Pamplona.  Its pungent, slightly firm meat is seasoned with the usual Spanish trinity of garlic, pimenton and pepper, but it’s also laced with cumin and oregano.  Similar to but more robust than uncured chorizo fresco, chorizo de Bilbao stores well in the refrigerator and keeps for a longer periods than the fresh sausages.


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