Ode to Chorizo…and so forth

I cannot help myself.  I love Mexican chorizo.  There’s something about the sharp, vinegar flavor of the stuff that I find immensely appealing.  When I learned, years ago, that the ingredients of commercial chorizo often include pig salivary glands, lymph nodes, fat, cheeks, etc., I was not put off by it; I figured if I’ve eaten it for years and didn’t gag or die, it was all right.  I loved the stuff.  I ate it with some regularity and enjoyed it.

That having been said, my wife long ago decreed that our household would devote at least some effort to reducing the intake of fat, so it became very rare for me to have occasion to have “natural” Mexican chorizo in my house.  Instead of the pork-based stuff, we began to buy chorizo made of ground chicken at our local Sprout’s market.  It was tasty, but not nearly as good as the real thing.

Then, later, when we went beyond reducing fat and started reducing the intake of meat, we tried a soy-based chorizo, sold by Trade Joe’s.  I was surprised at how good the stuff was, and cheap!  I didn’t bother making note of the brand because I figured Trader Joe’s would stock the stuff (the only meatless chorizo on the shelf when I bought it).  But when I returned, it was not there.  I asked the stocking staff; it was out of stock…maybe it will be back in stock soon.  Next trip: “we’ve been unable to get more stock from the supplier; we’ll probably get some more soon or we’ll go with another supplier.”

Next trip.  Nothing.  And the next trip. And the next one. Damn!

On a later trip to Supermercado El Rancho, I was surprised to see soy-based chorizo in the butcher section, sold in bulk!  Wonderful, I thought, surely they wouldn’t sell crap here! So I bought some.  It was the most disgusting swill I’ve ever put in my mouth; I bought  a pound and threw away three-quarters of a pound…it was offensive in the extreme.

And then, as we were wandering Whole Foods Market a week or so ago, I saw it: Organic Soyrizo Meatless Soy Chorizo.  I bought some, a 12-ounce package, consisting of two links of soy chorizo sealed in plastic casings.  We’ve had it twice now; it is…not bad.  But not great.  But better by far than El Rancho’s version.

But, oh, how I long for a breakfast taco made with real, fatty, Mexican chorizo, oozing bright orange-red juices that stain my fingers.  I really want to smell that pungent, devilishly good Mexican chorizo that taught me to enjoy pig parts that so many people find offensive.

The only legitimate way to do that, though, is to steal away to a down-and-dirty taqueria and order my favorite tacos: chorizo, barbacoa, pastor, and lengua. Is it legitimate to “steal away” to do this?  I don’t know; I think it is.  Look it up.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Ode to Chorizo…and so forth

  1. Trish says:

    Ah, yes, the famous torta! Don’t eat them often, but when I do, chorizo is part of the lineup! 🙂

  2. I eat mine the same ways, Trish…in tacos, with scrambled eggs, and occasionally as one of dozens of ingredients on tortas!

  3. Trish says:

    I’m with you, John! Love Mexican chorizo, and eat it fairly often, too, either in tacos as you’ve described, or in scrambled eggs with tortillas and bit of salsa. I’ve never seen the soy version down here, but, nor have I looked for it. Now I’m curious, and will check on that.

    Could barely get through you post…you made me hungry! lol! Didn’t know what was in the real chorizo until right now, but, like yourself, it won’t deter me from eating it the same as always! 😉

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