Taste test Chorizo
What did we do before we had chorizo to liven up the dullest sandwich, the most banal pizza, and the Wednesday night pasta? In terms of flavour, chorizo punches way above its weight, and should be a staple in every refrigerator in the country. We tested cooked chorizo in rounds or sausage shapes that you slice yourself, rather than pre-sliced - or the fresh version that needs to be cooked before it can be eaten.
Gubbeen Chorizo, widely available, 138g, €4.37, 9/10
Lovely texture, subtle spicing with a nice kick of chilli, and great flavour, from having been smoked over sweet woods. This was our testers' favourite chorizo, and they were pleased to hear that as a fermented food (good for the gut) they could be justified in including it in their daily diet. Delicious.
Forage & Cure Irish Chorizo, independent retailers, 100g, €3.99, 8/10
Forage & Cure describes itself as 'The Dublin Charcutiers', and is a collaboration between Rick Higgins, a fourth generation master butcher, and his friend Antonio Princigallo. This chorizo is made from free-range Irish pork and the spicing is subtle and multi-layered. Good enough to serve on its own as part of a charcuterie plate, but pricey.
Tesco Finest Authentic Spanish Chorizo, 225g, €2.50, 6/10
Tesco's chorizo ring, made in Spain using Spanish pork, may not have the most nuanced flavour of the chorizos that we tested, but there's a good flavour of smoked paprika and it's excellent value.
M&S Chorizo, 225g, €4.40, 5/10
M&S's chorizo is made in Spain and has good spicing and the characteristic flavour of smoked paprika. Quite salty.
Torre de Nunez Chorizo Sarta, Donnybrook Fair, 225g, €4.99, 5/10
With an oilier mouth-feel and less dominant spicing than the other chorizos we tried, our testers were divided. Some were keen on the oiliness, but others felt that it lacked flavour.