Chori for chorizo, pan for bread: together that makes the Choripán, a type of sausage sandwich popular in South America and not well enough known in the rest of the world. Sausage and bread — it sounds simple, doesn’t it? But throughout the continent, debates rage on about the kind of bread, the kind of sausage and the kind of sauce or toppings that best compose it. So let’s embark on a journey to South America!
Sorry, we were too hungry to wait
Rumors has it that the Choripán came from a common practice during Argentinian barbecues. As everyone would generally be starving while the different kinds of meat cooked, as the sausages are the first to be ready, people would immediately eat those first. No plate was necessary, a small roll was enough, and just a bit of chimichurri sauce to spice it up. Apparently someone had the genius idea to convert this perfect appetizer into a business and sell it in real shops. Nowadays it is the most popular sandwich throughout the whole South American continent, from Argentina, to Puerto Rico, from Chile to Brazil (where it is called Pão com Linguica), whether it is served as an appetizer or as a main dish, in sports venues, in the streets, in asadas or at home.
From Argentina to the rest of South America
For the bread, there are different schools of thought: some choose a baguette-style kind of bread, but most of the country prefers a small white roll. Bread such as a marraqueta, for example, are more commonly used in Chile, while Argentina generally opts for a thicker bun. As for the chorizo beware: the chorizo in South America is not necessarily a “hot” sausage. The varieties of sausages on the continent are in fact pretty wide: in Argentina for example, the usual sausage is made of pork and beef. In Brazil, it’s a pork sausage that is favoured, while in Chile people generally eat smoked longanizas. In Puerto Rico, you will find the typical spicier Spanish-style chorizo. But whatever the type, at the end it’s just a grilled sausage, right? Yes, but here too there are differences. In Argentina or Uruguay for example, the sausage is generally butterflied which means cut in half lengthwise, to grill also its open faces, while you will find it uncut in other countries.
Pimp it up
The usual sauce for the Choripán is the Argentinian Chimichurri, a vinaigrette-like hot sauce combining lot of herbs, garlic and chili. But you can also find other kind of sauces like salsa criolla or pico de gallo, based on tomatoes, onions and coriander. Traditionally, that is all that you will find in the sandwich. But like every sandwich, it’s hard to resist a little twist. Some Argentinians will go for an egg, while in Chile the chorizo is topped with aji and pebre and sometimes mayonnaise. In Puerto Rico, you might find not only mayonnaise, but also pickles, Manchego cheese and sometimes ketchup. What’s for sure is that the sauce will bring a peppery heat! Accompany your sandwich with a cold beer like they do in Brazil or with some South American red wine!
How to Prepare a Choripan Sandwich
(our version from the video)
- Sausages of your choice (preferably Chorizo if you don’t find appropriate ones)
- Small rolls
For the Salsa
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh oregano
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Kosher salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients for the sauce and stir. Let the salsa sit for at least 5 minutes or put it in the fridge for a longer period.
Toast the bread slightly if needed.
Grill the sausages, either whole or butterflied.
Put the sausages in the bread, add the sauce. Enjoy.
For the salsa we got inspiration from