Can You Eat Raw Chorizo?

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There are some things that we have taken for granted – and one of those things is being introduced to Iberico Chorizo at an early age. We all remember our first slice. It is nothing like what can be bought in the supermarkets.

So, when we are asked whether you can eat raw Chorizo (or Salchichon), it took us by surprise. Of course, we exclaimed… but we were wrong.

 

Spanish Cured Chorizo

 

If you have found this post then you’ll be thankful to know that you can absolutely eat raw Chorizo (as long as it is cured), and it is actually the best way to eat it. As long as the slice is at room temperature, has had time to rest and is coupled with Manchego cheese and a glass of red wine!

While a cured meat like Chorizo seems raw, it isn’t actually raw. It has been produced using cured Iberico Jamon which has undergone a process that ‘cures’ the meat of harmful bacteria and uses good bacteria/ moulds to preserve the product, and in turn, enriches the flavours. Much like cheese, beer or anything fermented. It is a tradition that has continued for thousands of years in the Iberian peninsula.

The cured ham produces a luxuriously creamy, nutty and rich salty flavour that has been regarded as one of the tastiest things on earth, and is used constantly in fine dining settings and Michelin star chefs.

This is chopped up and combined with herbs and spices, packed into the skin and left to cure/ be smoked for longer. It means that once the Chorizo has been cured and all of the harmful bacteria is removed.

With Spanish cured meats it is not unusual to see white mould, or for it to have a strong smell. It does not mean that it needs to be cooked, however, you can cook with it if you feel more comfortable.

 

Mexican Chorizo

 

Unknown to us before today, there is actually a whole range of ‘raw’ chorizo sausages from places like Mexico and South America. These sausages use the same spices and flavours but they use fresh pork, rather than cured pork. It means that you absolutely cannot eat this chorizo raw.

The meat has not gone through any process to cure the meat and protect it.

The dangers of eating this kind of Chorizo raw is food poisoning, tapeworms, parasites and all manner of potentially deadly microbes. This sausage should be cooked thoroughly as if it was a normal sausage you have purchased from the supermarket. Unless it is cured, smoked or specifically says that it is ready to eat on the packet, you shouldn’t eat it.

If you’re ever in doubt, then you should cook with ay Chorizo that you buy. Even if it is cured, you can cook it into a variety of dishes.