Thursday, February 25, 2010


My mom is from southeastern Massachusetts...Fall River to be exact. Going back as far as I can remember, we have done a summer family vacation in Massachusetts - Scituate, Westport, Chappaquiddick, Dartmouth, and probably a few other places in between when I was a lot younger. There is a big Portuguese population in southeastern Massachusetts, and therefore that's where some of the most delicious chourico can be found. Chourico (shur-EE-so) is a smoked pork sausage spiced with paprika. I admittedly didn't start eating it until recent years (I used to be a horribly picky eater), but I think chourico has pretty much always been part of a few breakfasts and/or lunches on family vacation. We usually cook it by slicing it in half lengthwise and giving it a nice char either on the bbq or in a skillet, and then serving it with scrambled eggs or just on a roll. This is not the same thing as the Goya brand of chorizo you might be able to find in some grocery's way better. I always thought it was all chorizo, but upon some seriously meaty research I found that the Spanish and Mexican versions are chorizo, and the Portuguese version is chourico.

I found this article online about different southeastern Massachusetts-based companies that sell chourico, and linguica (another type of sausage). It's probably more than you ever wanted to know, but this is how I entertain my unemployed self. I am going to Boston this weekend and I asked my sister to pick up some chourico for me to bring back to Chicago, but she said she wouldn't have time (seriously, why is driving an hour to buy me sausages not a priority?). But several of the companies listed in that article sell their products online, so I am definitely going to order some and anxiously await it's arrival like most girls my age would anxiously await an online purchase of new shoes. Several of these places also sell Portuguese sweet bread, as well as Autocrat coffee syrup (which isn't Portuguese, but very New England). I might not be able to hold back when I place my order. I'll tell you all about it and take pictures once it's here.

1 comment:

  1. On top of the chourico, massa (Portuguese sweet bread) and coffee syrup, they also offer Hoo-Mee Chow Mein, which is made in Fall River to this day, and so much better than La Choy. I am of Portuguese descent and grew up in Fall River, and one of the school lunches we'd frequently get was chow mein sandwich: chow mein as prepared according to the directions on the box, on a hamburger bun. So you're thinking, how does one eat such a contraption? Ideally, the bun-top has been sitting on the chow mein for at least 5 minutes, having sopped up some of the delicious sauce. You eat the bun, then with a fork (no knives at school: Fall River's a pretty rough town), eat the chow mein down to the bun-bottom.

    Ah but this post is about chourico. Well, another school lunch I remember (though less frequent than the weekly chow mein sandwich) was chourico and peppers: sliced peppers added to the chourico and fried, probably in olive oil and eaten in a portuguese roll "papo seco" - the closest national proximity would be a bollilo roll.

    Every time my parents visit me in Virginia, they bring about 6 chourico sausages, a wedge of Portuguese cheese, a vat of pickled peppers crushed and uncrushed, and sometimes, salted cod, sweet bread, folares (sweet bread with a hardboiled egg inside to commemorate Easter), and once, Hoo Mee Chow Mein. My family looks forward to their visits :)