The South American Longaniza is a long and thin Spanish-style sausage made with spiced pork. It is a savory and diverse dish that is very popular in regions around South America, including Spain, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Chile. The defining characteristics of the dish vary from region to region. The variation is seen in the type of meat and spices used.
Sometimes they are spicy, sometimes not, sometimes sweet, sometimes with vinegar or citrus juice. In short, there is no single standard for this sausage, and many countries, homes, restaurants, and chefs have their version of longaniza. Depending on the region, some people will use the spelling “longganisa”. The pronunciation, however, remains the same.
Unlike the traditional sausage, the pork used for this one is initially chopped (not ground), generally seasoned with salt and other spices before inserting into an intestinal casing. While chopping appears like a slight aberration from the regular pork sausage, it adds an entirely new flavor and texture that will amaze your taste buds.
When people talk of longaniza, they often allude to pork sausage. However, the dish may be prepared using beef, turkey, chicken, or even tuna. The wrapping for this style may be artificial or made from animal intestines and can be consumed or discarded.
Longaniza may be smoked, cured, or dried. However, it can also be made fresh and fried in a pan or grilled. The fat from pork gives a greasy texture and consistency. The fat also improves the juiciness when you fry or grill it.
Dominican longaniza is a very popular spicy sausage in the Dominican Republic. It is a long, thin, spiced pork sausage unique to this variation. It is seasoned with juice from lime or bitter oranges, salt, garlic, and oregano. Traditionally, this longaniza was dried in the sun for two days.
Longaniza traces its origin to Spain. It is a long pork sausage seasoned with cinnamon, lots of garlic, aniseed, paprika, and vinegar. It is typically sold fresh, meaning you must cook it. During the rule of the Spanish empire, the dish spread far and wide across the Americas, including the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, El Salvador, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile.
As centuries passed, the defining characteristics of the original Spanish longaniza dish evolved. Different regions and countries developed different interpretations of the dish. Today, various countries across South America have their style of this cured meat. This is true for the Dominican Republic, from where Longaniza Dominicana originates
Longaniza Dominicana is a pork sausage prepared according to the traditional Dominican style. Longaniza Dominicana traces its origin back to colonial times, when the Spanish, Africans, and Tainos lived in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.
The pork meat was typically cut into tiny chunks and marinated with sour lemon or orange juice, oregano, salt, and garlic. The marinated meat was then stuffed into a pork casing and dried in the sun for several days. After drying, it was fried in its fat or vegetable oil.
Although the dish remains very similar, almost every Dominican has a preparation or technique to suit their liking. Most of this style of sausage here is made by hand or made at home. Consequently, the quality of the final product varies from one stuffer to another and across Dominica. However, the best quality contains a minimum of 70% lean meat. The dish can be made hot by adding cayenne pepper or tabasco source.
Today, the local groceries and markets in the South American regions sell them as link sausages. Commercially produced longaniza is often spiced with salt, garlic, sugar, and sometimes black pepper. You will find them refrigerated or frozen in the food aisles of local stores. Producers typically label them as hot, spicy, medium, or mild depending on the amount of red pepper. Unlike the spicy varieties, this sweet version has more sugars. Vinegar is another common ingredient used in here.
Longaniza Vs Chorizo
Chorizo and longaniza are quite similar. The two share a red color and have garlic and paprika as prominent ingredients. Both are made using coarse-ground pork, and you must fully cook them before consuming them. It is usually hard to distinguish the two if you do not know about the various types of sausages. However, the two have different tastes and culinary use.
The significant difference between those two sausages appears in the length, thickness, and spices used for preparation. Longaniza is often a long and slightly thin sausage compared to chorizo. The entire length of the small intestines is often used for it without cutting or tying into segments. Because it is thinner, longaniza is drier than the fatty and juicy chorizo. Chorizo is thicker and shorter compared to.
Chorizo is typically made prepared using pork, while longaniza can be prepared using various types of meat. However, pork seems to be quite popular and way more popular than other meats. Some places use multiple types of meat in the longaniza.
Chorizo is often spicier than longaniza. Paprika and chili powder are the primary flavors used with chorizo, while the flavors in longaniza come from meat, salt, and lots of garlic and black pepper. The two also differ in the method of use. The fillings in chorizo can be removed from the covering and used as ground meat. On the other hand, longaniza will retain its casing when served. The whole length of longaniza is usually coiled and cooked on a grill and served when sliced.
Longaniza Mexicana and other Varieties
Longaniza Mexicana is a sausage prepared according to the traditional Mexican style. This pork sausage is seasoned with vinegar, paprika, and salt. It is often used in tacos, tortas, and other Mexican dishes. Here are different variations of the longaniza popular across South America and the Philippines.
Vigan longaniza is a savory variant prepared with a lot of garlic. The garlic used is cut into slightly larger chunks than in other sausage versions. The dish is somewhat sour with a distinct smoky flavor. Traditionally, this dish is made by hanging the sausages on smoke from an earthen stove. Some people prefer to add some caramelized cane vinegar – it’s perfect.
Longaniza de Guinobatan
This longaniza is smaller (2 inches per link) than other types. It is also prepared with pork. A distinctive characteristic is that the meat used is usually cut by hand and is never minced. This gives it a chunky texture.
This one is your best choice if you are not into pork. It is prepared with beef meat rather than pork. The beef gives this longaniza a different meaty flavor compared to the pork version. This variant will have a familiar taste to those with the savory sausages typical in Hungary and Germany.
This is a smoked pork sausage having its roots in the Bacolod, Negros Islands. It is also called Chorizo Bacolod. The preparation ingredients include vinegar, soy sauce, and calamansi, a combination that gives this longaniza a smokey and sour flavor profile. This taste distinguishes it very much from other sausage styles.
This particular sausage has its origin in Alamaniso, Pangasinan. A conspicuous characteristic is that toothpicks are used to seal the links in the longaniza. The meat fillings are usually flavored with salt and pepper. Annato seed oil is responsible for the orange hue typical of Alaminos sausage style. Ideally, The meat is ground and seasoned, then ground a second time before stuffing it into the wrapping.
This longaniza typically has a yellowish or orange color. Thanks to the vinegar marinade used in the meat preparation, this sausage has a pleasantly sour flavor. You may find other people referring to it as Longaniza Ybanag/Ibanag.
How to Cook Mexican Longaniza
Longaniza is available in skinless or encased wrapping. You can even make this fresh homemade sausage in your kitchen if you love and have patience for sausage making. It is easy, and you will require just a few ingredients. Many homes (and restaurants) prefer to make it in an easier-to-make and store patty form.
The most straightforward way of cooking longaniza at home is to fry it. You can also grill it or bake it in your oven. It all depends on your preference. If frozen, thaw the sausage overnight in the fridge. This will prevent unwanted bacteria from growing on your sausage.
Longaniza tends to lose shape during cooking. Try boiling it before grilling or frying if you want it to retain as much as possible its shape. Use a sizeable pot and add enough water to cover the longaniza. Boil the contents of the pot until the water is nearly wholly evaporated – You do not want your sausage to stick on the pot.
This way, the fillings will not fall apart easily when you cut the sausage. Precooking will also ensure you do not over fry your meat while cooking it thoroughly. Fry the pieces in their own oil for about ten minutes. If you prefer, you can place them on a grill until adequately cooked. You want the outside to become dark and crispy, while the fillings inside should remain moist when ready.
If you prefer to smoke it, do it after hanging it for a day. Remember to smoke it gently at temperatures below 200F for a few hours or until the interior heats to about 150-165f.
Although associated with dinner, you can serve it with any meal. You can include it in your breakfast or serve it as an appetizer or snack alongside cocktails. You can also have it in your sandwich.
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