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    The Ultimate Guide to Chistorra Sausage

    Most of us will be familiar with chorizo, but what do you know about chorizo’s thinner and longer counterpart… the chistorra sausage? If your answer is “very little”, then that is about to change.

    To create this Ultimate Guide to Chistorra Sausage, we decided to consult Maialen Maiza Burillo from artisan chistorra sausage creators Embutidos Arbizu in the Navarra region, northwest of Pamplona. This proud family producer has been making chistorra sausage in the traditional way since the mid-sixties and it is one of Basco’s most popular sausages after chorizo.

    What is Chistorra sausage?

    Chistorra sausage is a special type of semi-cured chorizo from either Navarra, Aragon or the Basque Country in Spain. “Thin and wonderfully flavoursome, it is made from pork, seasoned with paprika, salt and garlic all held in natural sausage casing. It has a bright-red colour, smoky taste and can be eaten either fried, boiled or baked” explains Maialen.

    What is the history of Chistorra sausage?

    Originally, Chistorra was from the Basque region of Gipuzkoa and comes from the Basque word for sausage “txistor”. Traditionally, chistorra was made with left over pork meat which was ground and semi-cured to preserve it so it would last throughout the winter months. Maialen is especially proud of her family’s part in chistorra sausage’s popularity “Chistorra is particularly popular here in Navarra, where it can be found hanging in almost every butchers, and is a key ingredient for many local dishes.”

    Are there any special traditions regarding Chistorra?

    Chistorra is traditionally served in San Sebastián on 21st December each year on the feast day of Thomas the Apostle. On this day, in all Spanish cities, not just San Sebastián , there are stalls of products created by artisan producers, including “talo” (a traditional corn flatbread) and chistorra which is enjoyed with either Basque sagardoa cider.

    How is Chistorra sausage made?

    In the case of Arbizu Chistorra Picante Sausage, Maialen explains the process. “Our chistorra is always made using free-range pork, either dewlap or pancetta, which is pork belly. The meat selected is put through a mincing machine and paprika, salt and a little water is added during the kneading process. Once the everything is properly kneaded, it is removed from the mixer and added to the filling machine where it is stuffed in either lamb tripe or collagen. After this process has been completed, it is dried for four or five days and then vacuum packed.”

    What are the ingredients of Chistorra sausage?

    The ingredients of Chistorra sausage made by Embutidos Arbizu are 100% natural with no additives and no gluten. It is quite simply free-range pork, wonderfully piquant and warming paprika from Murcia, salt and fresh garlic. When combined, semi-cured and cooked they create chistorra’s unmistakably delicious taste.

    What is special about Embutidos Arbizu Chistorra sausage?

    Over to an immensely proud Maialen. “Our family has been making chistorra for three generations and we believe that this experience is what has shown us how to make such a delicious product. It was our grandfather Pepe and grandmother Ramona that started the business and showed us how to make traditional artisan-made chistorra.”

    Is Chistorra good for tapas?

    Very much so. Tapas or ´Pintxo´ is one of the most typical ways to eat chistorra. In all of the parties and celebrations throughout Spain, especially in Navarre, Aragon or the Basque Country, you can find people enjoying chistorra this way.

    How do you cook Chistorra sausage?

    The most common ways of cooking chistorra sausage is grilled, fried, boiled or baked. In Navarra, home of Embutidos Arbizu chistorra, locals usually fry it. Javier De La Hormaza, Basco founder and inspirational chef, has two favourite chistorra sausage recipes. “Mussels with Chistorra Sausage and Txakoli is my variation on the classic Moules Marinière recipe. I steam mussels with fried Chistorra and lots of Txakoli Basque country white wine. Alternatively, try making Chistorra Sausage Rolls with Lemon Aioli – a tasty pintxo I first tasted in Ganbara pintxo bar and restaurant in the old quarter of San Sebastian. If you don’t fancy cooking, then our artisan Basque Chistorra Sausage Croquetas are entirely handmade – fry from frozen and they’re ready to eat in 3 to 5 mins.

    What wine or beer would accompany Chistorra?

    Chistorra pairs extremely well with virtually any authentic Spanish red wine, white wine, beer or cider. Whichever suits your taste.

    Where to buy Chistorra Sausage

    You don’t need to hop on the next plane to Spain to enjoy the very best chistorra. Luckily for you, Basco stocks premium Arbizu Chistorra Picante Sausage that is vacuum-packed and will deliver it direct to your door. What could be more delicious or convenient?

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