Longaniza is a Spanish sausage (embutido) similar to a chorizo and also closely associated with the Portuguese linguiça. Its defining characteristics are interpreted differently from region to region. It is popular in the cuisines of several regions of Spain, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and the Philippines.
Varieties by country
In Spain, longaniza are long thin Salchichón that differ from chorizo in that they substitute black pepper for paprika and may have different spices like nutmeg.
Argentina and Uruguay
In Argentina and Uruguay, longaniza is a very long, cured and dried pork sausage that gets its particular flavour from ground anise seeds. This results in a very particular aroma, and a mildly sweet flavour that contrasts with the strong salty taste of the stuffing. It’s used mainly as an appetizer or in sandwiches, and very rarely cooked.
In Chile, longaniza may be eaten during a barbecue with bread as a Choripan. The city of Chillán is known for its longanizas. Chillán’s football team Ñublense are nicknamed The Clockwork Longaniza (Spanish:La longaniza mecánica). During the festivities of the 18th of September, longaniza is prepared in great quantities.
Mexican longaniza tends to be longer than Mexican chorizo and are spicier.
Puerto Rican style longanisa is made of pork, but also is made with chicken or turkey. The red orange colour is from the addition of annatto seeds. Rice with longaniza is a popular dish.
Since colonial times, Dominican style longaniza has been prepared with the juice of bitter oranges (or lime), garlic, oregano and salt. For the casing, pork intestines are used. Then the longaniza is left to cure in the sun for some days. It is eaten fried in its own fats or in vegetable oil. Quality varies considerably due to the fact that it is generally home-made. Best quality longaniza usually has a 70% lean fat content.
Longganisa refers to sausages flavoured with indigenous spices, with each region having its own specialty. Among others, Lucban is known for its garlic-laden longanizas (derecado, “spiced”); Guagua for its salty, almost sour, variety. Longganisang hamonado (from the Spanish: longaniza jamonada), by contrast, is known for its distinctively sweet taste.
Unlike Spanish chorizo, Filipino longganisa can also be made of chicken, beef, or even tuna. Commercial varieties are made into links, but homemade sausages may be simple patties.