I can’t lie, I do like a good sausage; most Brits do and quite rightly so as there are a lot of great choices out there.
It’s a personal thing, what you want from a good banger. I know what goes into them and I’m not a fan of that but when you find a good ‘un there’s nothing that can beat it.
I live in France where the love of a good sausage is nationwide; they have them cooked, dried, in casseroles, in baguettes, made from every animal you can imagine, and they like it every which way. But for me they don’t spin my hubs, there’s a void and they just don’t measure up to my expectations of a good snag. Of course I know that all bangers are not made equal and therefore not made for the same culinary purpose but I’ve tried most and I guess I’m just not a fan of a French porker.
That is unless we’re talking about Chorizo sausage; then you have my full attention.
Made from pork and varying forms of paprika these sausages tease my taste buds with their abundant flavour. They are so versatile and can be used in so many different ways that there is always one tucked away in my kitchen for when needed.
They come in short, long, hard and soft varieties and are spiced from mild to extra hot depending on what you like. The leaner and dried varieties are suited to being eaten at room temperature as an appetiser or tapas and the fattier versions are best cooked.
Depending where your Chorizo comes from will also determine the taste you’re going to get.
The Spanish version of Chorizo is different from Mexico's primarily due to Spain’s much longer aging process. Spanish Chorizo is more like salami; harder and smokier and Mexican sausage is a bit like fresh Italian sausage; juicier and spicier.
Spanish, Mexican and Italian aside, I like Basque chorizo (Txorizo). It’s harder, like the Spanish version but not as smoky and the spice they use (a sweet red pepper, Piment d’Espelette, unique to the Basque region) gives these little guys a ton of flavour.
Living so close to the Basque region I often make a pilgrimage to find some direct from the source but if I don’t have the time it’s readily available at the supermarket and I am rarely disappointed.
So, next time you go in search of a good sausage remember that not all sausages are created equally. If you want a bit of spice in your life and have the opportunity to sample a bit of Basque I’d definitely recommend it.