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Unlike raw Mexican chorizo, Spanish chorizo is dry-cured and, depending on the type, may be smoked. Look for a version that employs free-range pork and no added preservatives (although, be forewarned: the paprika in Spanish chorizo will stain anything it touches!). Enjoy a leaner version sliced straight alongside cheese and crackers, or use a fattier version to flavor everything from bean dishes to eggs to paellas.

Photo: Susannah Chen