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The Interesting History of Chorizo

If you take a moment to browse our products, you’ll notice that we offer a halal Spanish sliced chorizo that’s hard to beat. We’ve taken this famous Spanish sausage and applied the halal principles to it so that we can bring you one of the finest meats that the Mediterranean has to offer.

Chorizo is interesting in and of itself. In fact, it dates back to ancient times, and it has a surprisingly complex history that belies its reputation as just another type of sausage.

The Early Days

Of course, the humble sausage has existed for almost as long as people have. As a result, its origins aren’t easy to find. However, something as specific as the chorizo style has a more defined starting point.

Historians generally agree that chorizo finds its roots in something called Morcilla, which was a blood sausage that is referenced in Homer’s epic Odyssey. As a result, we can feel safe assuming that the origins of chorizo, if not the sausage as a whole, date back to at least the 9th century BC.

Homer’s work spoke of a gut that was filled with fat and blood before being roasted on an open flame. In that respect, it sounds a little more like black pudding than chorizo. And of course, the chorizo that we eat today doesn’t contain any blood, especially when made in the halal style.

Increased Popularity

Sausages lost their previous popularity during the Roman era, but came back with a vengeance at some point during the years following the devastating Black Plague. This likely coincides with the discovery that smoking foods allows you to preserve them for longer, which lead to many Europeans smoking sausages that they could eat over the course of several days.

These smoked sausages weren’t quite chorizo though. In fact, it took the discovery of the Americas to add the final ingredient to the mix.

American Spices

Chorizo has a distinct spicy flavour that you don’t get from smoking meat. It also has an interesting colour. Both of these come from the addition of paprika, which originates from the bell peppers that you’ll find in practically every supermarket in the modern age.

However, bell peppers didn’t exist in Europe during the middle ages. They were actually a South American vegetable. Upon the “discovery” of the bell pepper by Europeans, more cooking techniques arose for the humble sausage. Spaniards, in particular, took to the pepper and began using it when cooking sausages, which is how chorizo came to be.

The sausage’s popularity exploded to the point where it was one of the first types of sausage written about in the Royal Academy of Language in the Dictionary of Authorities.

But there’s one problem for those who follow halal – traditional chorizo sausage comes from pork.

The Halal Solution

So how do you make a traditionally pork product halal? The answer is simple – eliminate the pork.

Najma Food’s chilled chorizo uses turkey meat to create that irresistible Mediterranean taste. We encourage you to try it today. We’re sure you’ll come back for more.