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Luis Suares is a well-know Toronto chorizo master. He’s from the Asturias, a northern region of Spain on the Atlantic coast, with brilliant beaches and gorgeous landscapes. The region is also known for its Sidra, a sparkling apple cider, and some of the best cheeses produced in Spain — Cabrales, Beyas, Pitu, Peral to name just a few.

A burning question had me wondering: what’s the difference between chorizo and salchicha, which is Spanish for sausage, and which I’d grown up with.

So I asked Luis to explain the difference.

Salchicha is fresh pork sausage that will need to be cook right way, although it will keep fresh for up to three days.

Chorizo is also a pork sausage with garlic and paprika and a little less salt than usual. There is no liquid or water is add to their stuffing, unlike salchicha, and it’s aged for 2 to 4 weeks.

In Central and South America, we make salchichas frescas, and they become chorizos when they’re cured and aged. These chorizos are ready to eat, since curing and ageing is a form of cooking. You can warm them on the grill, but they’re lovely just sliced and served with bread and olives, accompanied by a hearty wine. They’re also good for packing a lot of flavour into soups or stews.

Luis sells his chorizo all over the city, mostly to Latino markets, and among his fans are my friends, Carlos Hernadez, chef of Torito, that wildly popular tapas restaurant in Kensington Market, and Michael Dixon, chef at the venerable Jamie Kennedy At The Gardiner.

I love both these restaurants and enjoy them often. I’ve asked Carlos and Michael their opinions of Luis’s chorizo, and both judged them as the best in the city.

In Kensington, you can buy Mexican chorizo at La Perola, a great Latino market, and Chilean chorizo at Segovia’s meat market, just up the street. For Portuguese Chorizo, go to Europe meats, right around the corner from La Perola

Yours in good food.
Carlos

PS: Check out “COMING UP.” There are some interesting things coming up.

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*Spanish for: "Mmm. Wow. That's good!"