How often do you see a product on grocery shelves that contains ingredients like salivary glands, cheek and lymph nodes AND actually admits it on the packaging (I’m looks at you, McDonald’s and Taco Bell)? Finally we’ve got some honest food labeling, brought to us in the form of pork chorizo. If you’re not familiar with the concept of chorizo, it’s a ground pork (sometimes beef) sausage combined with spices and sold raw in a tube. Disclaimer: I’ve only had chorizo once before, and it was hippy-dippy Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, so I really don’t have a “refined palate” (though that’s kind of a given) when it comes to this product. I don’t even know if I prepared it correctly. My internal organs are still functioning somewhat normally, so I’ll assume so.
I stood in front of the foreign refrigerated section in Saar’s Marketplace trying to figure out the difference between Cacique and Ranchero brand chorizo (and deciding between beef and pork). I ended up picking the Ranchero brand since it had a soccer ball on the wrapper (turns out they’re a “proud sponsor of the Mexican National Soccer team”). Olé!
Turns out Ranchero/Cacique has a Breyers/Edy’s deal goin’ on – the website mentions: “In Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana our Ranchero® Brand is sold under the label “Cacique® Brand“). So in essence, it’s a good thing I chose the Ranchero because the Cacique would have come from the Midwest. Just what a raw meat product needs is more transit and shelf time.
Simply put, this product is mostly fat: 260 calories with almost 60% of your daily recommended value of saturated fat per serving (and there’s 4 servings per tube). Since this blog has nothing to do with healthy eating, this is more of a side note than a warning. Atkins/low carb devotees can rejoice – only 3g of carbohydrates per serving!
I figured the easiest way to prepare this would be scrambling it up with some eggs and eating it for breakfast. I quickly Googled a recipe and I was set.
Now I know you foodies out there may chastise me: I used the whole package (10 oz) of chorizo to 6 eggs instead of the 4 oz that the recipe mentioned. With whole eggs plus the greasy chorizo, that is a lardaceous amount of dietary fat. While I did add some onions and cilantro, obviously this product isn’t of the highest quality anyway and I ended up with a sort of Hispanic hangover hash. It was palatable, but my stomach was wondering what it did to deserve this fatty fate.
I wouldn’t mind trying chorizo again, but definitely in a different dish (and perhaps a brand from say, Whole Foods). I would opt for the beef flavor so I can experience the thrill of beef tongue, cheeks, nodes ‘n’ glands. Andrew Zimmern, eat your heart out.