Located just 64 kilometers west of Mexico City, Toluca is known for being the capital of chorizo. The city is famous for two types of chorizo: chorizo toluqueño and chorizo verde.
Chorizo toluqueño is the most popular and widely produced in Toluca. This type of chorizo is known for its bright red color and is made from minced pork and fat, mixed with a blend of ancho chile, guajillo chile, paprika, black pepper, garlic, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and vinegar. Some people also add pasilla chile, fat pepper, pepper, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and nitro salt to preserve it.
The preparation of premium chorizo toluqueño is the same as the regular one but with the addition of pine nuts, almonds, and dry white wine, which gives it a unique flavor.
Chorizo verde is exclusive to Toluca and its surroundings. It is made with a mixture of several ground ingredients, including pork meat, pork fat, poblano peppers, cilantro, parsley, chard, garlic, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, pepper, cloves, coriander seeds, vinegar, and salt. It gets its name from the green ingredients that give it its distinct color.
Chorizo verde is prepared without artificial coloring and has become a popular choice for travelers visiting the city. It is said to have been invented in the 1960s as a response to the high prices of chili peppers and paprika.
Where to Find Chorizo in Toluca
When visiting Toluca, there are several places where you can find chorizo. The city's markets are the best places to buy chorizo, including the Mercado 16 de Septiembre, the Mercado Morelos, and the Mercado Benito Juarez.
Many travelers buy abundant quantities of chorizo when visiting Toluca, and it is a popular souvenir to take back home. Some local restaurants also offer chorizo dishes on their menus, such as chorizo tacos, chorizo and egg breakfasts, and chorizo quesadillas.
How to Make Chorizo Verde
Chorizo verde is a delicious and versatile sausage that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It can be served on its own, added to tacos, burritos, or enchiladas, or used as a topping for pizza or pasta. Making chorizo verde is not difficult, but it does require a bit of time and patience. The first step is to gather your ingredients. You will need:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup chopped green chiles
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped chard
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
Once you have your ingredients, simply combine them in a large bowl. Mix well to combine. Then, stuff the mixture into hog casings, or use a sausage maker to create links.
If you are using hog casings, you will need to soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes before stuffing them. Once they are soaked, rinse them well and pat them dry.
To stuff the casings, simply tie one end of the casing closed and then use a funnel to fill it with the sausage mixture. Once the casing is full, tie off the other end.
If you are using a sausage maker, simply follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Once the chorizo is stuffed, cook it according to your preference. You can fry it, grill it, or bake it.
Additional Tips for Making Chorizo Verde
- Use fresh ingredients whenever possible. This will give your chorizo the best flavor.
- Don't overcook the chorizo. It should be cooked through, but not dry.
- Serve chorizo verde with your favorite toppings and sides. Some popular options include:
- Pico de gallo
- Cilantro-lime rice
- Black beans
- Queso fresco
Chorizo Verde Recipes
Here are a few recipes for chorizo verde that you can try:
- Chorizo Verde Tacos: These tacos are made with chorizo verde, pico de gallo, cilantro-lime rice, and black beans. They are a delicious and easy meal that is perfect for a weeknight dinner.
- Chorizo Verde Enchiladas: These enchiladas are made with chorizo verde, cheese, and your favorite sauce. They are a hearty and flavorful meal that is perfect for a crowd.
- Chorizo Verde Pizza: This pizza is made with chorizo verde, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite toppings. It is a delicious and unique pizza that is sure to please everyone at your table.
- Chorizo Verde Pasta: This pasta is made with chorizo verde, pasta, and your favorite sauce. It is a quick and easy meal that is perfect for a busy weeknight.
Toluca is rightfully called the capital of chorizo. Chorizo toluqueño and chorizo verde are the city's most famous types of chorizo. Chorizo toluqueño is widely produced and known for its bright red color, while chorizo verde is exclusive to Toluca and its surroundings and is made with green ingredients that give it a unique flavor and color. If you're visiting Toluca, don't miss the opportunity to try these delicious chorizos and bring some back home as a souvenir.
In-Text Citation: Rosita Sánchez, Rosita and Estado de México. Conversación En La Cocina, Gastronomía Mexiquense. 1st ed., Mexico, Estado de México, 2006.