Chorizo of Pamplona
The chorizo of Pamplona (chorizo pamplonica) is the most popular and widely known of all of the pork sausages. Typically, in Pamplona and in other Navarre Pyrenees villages chorizo is stuffed into natural sausage casing 60-55mm wide and traditionally presented in the form of a horseshoe shape or in enchiladas, 10cm sections tied with natural cotton.
In southern Navarra the chorizo is smaller in diameter similar to the typical sausage, and in the central region and in the north, you will find them candle shaped which is unique to this region and called Cular (the lower part of the intestine considered a delicacy). With the fantastic climatic conditions of the north east of Navarra there are some truly delicious sausages to be had of which jaurrieta is the most prominent.
The most famous of the chorizo without a doubt is chorizo Pamplona with its specific characteristics of finely chopped pork, it is widely appreciated across Spain. The recipe is no secret – finely chop 80% of first quality pork with 20% pork fat, marinate with a dash of salt and smoked paprika add a head of chopped garlic all bought together with a little spring water. The mondongueras is left to macerate overnight and then stuffed into either artificial or natural candle shaped casings 65mm in diameter. Chorizo de Pamplona is the quintessential reflection of the Spanish nature – full bodied, spicy with delicate portions and generous flavours.
The weather of Pamplona is also another essential factor in the drying process as it takes a minimum of three months to become perfectly cured, giving the chorizo one of its most favored flavour characteristics. The chorizo is then wrapped in paper to prevent the sausage from oxidising and changing to yellowish tones, though it does not spoil its quality it will be rejected by the commercial market.
The tradition has origins from a time when people slaughtered their own meat at home and cured the sausage in their cellars. The making of this chorizo begins in winter when families traditionally slaughter the pigs and then communally make the chorizo, curing it in the cellar until the fiesta of San Fermín. Then the festival of Pamplona begins when the Chupinazo is launched (miniature rocket) and the running of the bulls commences.
In Spain this cured sausage is typically served in thin slices and has an important role in the festivals of Pamplona with the most famous “the running of the bulls”.