Ode to the Choripan
Oh! Good God!
Your crisp skin, blackened to a crunch
Holding inside, juices and heat and
flavor too great for so small a shape.
Entire universes wish they burst
so like a bite into your flesh.
This delicious little sausage tucked lovingly into a crispy bun is the Chilean prerequisite to a bar-b-q. In fact, no asado – or “Chilean cookout” – is really complete without them. Typically, you put all the meat on the grill at the same time and naturally, these little guys cook faster than a rack of lamb or a large cut of meat. When they’re ready, charred black and blood red, you pop a couple of marraqueta buns onto the grill until they are warm. Then, slipping the greasy little sausage into the bun, sans condiments, you consume them while they are hot, often burning the inside of your mouth in the process. But it’s worth it.
Marraqueta bread – break them in half along the seam and you can chow down on two!
Crackling skin means they are ready.
Fresh off the grill, these flavorful sausages are waiting for their buns.
Chilean chorizo is completely unlike the Mexican and Spanish varieties. It is not very spicy and it isn’t at all dry. Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to find them in the U.S. which means that at some point later on, we’ll need to experiment with making them ourselves. We had great success making our own sausages this past New Years. We just need to hit upon the right combo of meats and spices.
Choripan, an excellent accompaniment to a good beer or glass of bubbly.
You’ll find different varieties of choripan in other South American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay, to name a few.
Fun Fact: Beloved Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, loved a stew so much that he wrote a poem about it, entitled “Oda al Caldillo de Congrio,” or “Ode to the Congrio (eel) Stew.” You can read this famous poem here.