Sausage is a legendary staple in countries all around the globe. Cultures pride themselves on creating variations that intrigue the taste buds in new and exciting ways. In order to expand our kitchen knowledge, it's vital we experiment with new variations of our favorite dishes. Sausage should not be an exception.
Longaniza is the perfect place to start experimenting.
If you haven't experienced a true longaniza sausage, we can't recommend it enough. Regions around the world have taken it upon themselves to create unique pork sausages that reflect their country's favorite ingredients.
To help guide you through the vast world of pork sausage, we've created a comprehensive guide to help you find and master your longaniza recipe.
What is Longaniza?
Longaniza, the second cousin of Chorizo, is broadly known as a long, thin spiced pork sausage. Longaniza differs from traditional sausage in that the pork is chopped, not ground, before placed into its intestinal casing. While this seems like a small deviation from ordinary pork sausage, it offers a whole new array of flavors and textures.
An important disclaimer:
This definition is far too vague to pinpoint every variant of the ever evolving longaniza.
Throughout the decades, longaniza has branched out and taken on so many different traits; spicy, garlicky, sweet and citrusy. It can be smoked, cooked, fried, kept fresh, frozen, or cured. A true longaniza is typically made with lean pork fat and meat, but different regions have adapted and used chicken, beef, and even tuna in their recipes. What makes it a longaniza differs from region to region, as different types of meats, spices and casings are used in each country.
Let's dive in and find out just what this special sausage has to offer.
There are literally hundreds of different varients of longaniza recipes throughout the world. From sweet to spicy, garlicky to citrusy, the options are endless, and wherever you go, you are likely to find a different form of longaniza.
The Philippines is like the Godfather of Longaniza, due to the 144 ethnic linguistic groups within the Archipelago. There are hundreds of different varients of this dish throughout the country. The most widely known longganisa (local spelling) variant in Philippine cuisine is the Pampanga longganisa, because it is commercially mass-produced. Even the form and appearance differ from region to region. Achuete seeds are typically used to get that vibrant red, orange or yellow color.
How it's made: pork shoulder with anchiote paste, sour juice from an orange, and lots of garlic.
How it's served: mixed with eggs, tomatoes, and chilis, cooked, and wrapped in tortillas for a breakfast meal. The innards can be cooked and added to Empanadas
Flavor Notes: spicy
Recipe: click here
How it's made: the pork sausage is smoked, dried, cooked, or a combination of all three. Paprika is the ingredient which differentiates it from Spanish chorizo.
How it's served: sliced alongside bread, or as-is
Flavor Notes: cinnamon, anise, garlic
Argentina & Uruguay
A very long cured and dried pork sausage, made with ground anise seeds, which gives it the particular flavor of the region.
How it's made: made with pork and ground anise seeds, which gives it the particular flavor of the region.
How it's served: mainly in sandwiches or as an appetizer
Flavor Notes: mildly sweet, strong salty stuffing
The city of Chillan is known for their longanizas, and during the September Festivities, they are made in great quantities.
How it's made: grilled on a barbeque. Chilean longaniza is typically made with jalepenos, paprika, cumin, and chicha (a traditional Latin American beer)
How it's served: eaten inside crusty bread as a choripan (type of Chilean sandwich) with chimichurri
Flavor Notes: spicy
Recipe: click here
How it's made: with pork, turkey or chicken, or ground beef. Annatto seeds lends to its unique color
How it's served: commonly served with rice, beans, or fried plantains
Flavor Notes: sweet, smoky, garlic, oregano, nutmeg
Recipe: click here
Known as an amazing street food in the Domican Republic, longaniza is a favorite juicy, fatty snack for those who have had a long night out.
How it's made: with the juice of bitter oranges or limes, garlic, oregano and salt. Encased in pork intestines. Sun-cured for a few days, or boiled and then fried.
How it's served: topped with fresh squeezed lime. Can be enjoyed with tostones, batata, fries, rice, or any other side dish.
Flavor Notes: slightly salty. The "best" tasting will have at least a 70% lean fat content, and is usually homemade.
Everything Else You Need to Know
Where Do I Buy Longaniza?
Specialty Asain or Latin stores usually carry some pre-made, frozen, uncooked longaniza.
Depending on where you live, it's possible to order longaniza online and have it shipped to you. You can buy some different variants from a few companies and find which ones you like best. Then when you're ready, choose a recipe and try making your own at home! It is sure to be the best tasting and most satisfying.
How Do I Cook Longaniza at Home?
Your best bet at home is to fry longaniza.
If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, to avoid any unwanted bacterial growth.
If you want your longaniza to keep it's shape, it's always best to boil your longaniza before frying or grilling, so they don't fall apart as easily when cut. Place your longaniza into a pot and cover with water. Boil for 20 minutes or until water is almost completely evaporated.
You can now carefully cut up your longaniza into smaller pieces, fry them for up to 10 minutes in their own oil, or place them on a hot grill until cooked. The outsides should be dark and crispy, while the inside should retain most of their moisture.
What's the Difference Between Longaniza and Chorizo?
The main differences between the two are length, thickness, and spices used. Both types of sausage are usually coarse-ground and must be cooked before eating. Chorizo is always made with pork, whereas longaniza can be made with different types of meat.
Longaniza is typically a long & slightly thin sausage. It usually uses a complete small intestine’s length, not cut or tied in segments like chorizo. The entire coil of longaniza is usually cooked on a grill. Because longaniza is typically thinner, it will be slightly drier compared to a fatty, juicy chorizo.
Chorizo is usually flavored primarily with paprika and chili powder, whereas longaniza’s flavors come from the meat, salt, garlic, and lots of back pepper.
As we know, there really is nothing quite like a fatty, juicy sausage, and longaniza is no exception. Typically, this particular type of sausage will be made with pork meat and fat, and flavored with a range of different spices. But through our research, we've found there to be such a large variety of longaniza recipes, that the possibilities for flavor become endless.
Depending on what you like, sweet, spicy, or garlicky, you can try ordering some longaniza online, or simply make your own with one of the many recipes we've included.
We hope this article helped you understand the history and importance of this cuisine throughout the world.
Please feel free to leave any further questions or comments below.
Founder of Robust Kitchen