Thursday, October 3, 2013

Longaniza. What is it and what should you do with it?

Recently, we've had some small orders for both our beef and our pork longaniza leaving us with plenty of extra to send to our CSA members. That in turn has gotten a lot of questions about what this stuff is and how to cook it. Well, I'm here to help!
This is what Wikipedia says about it: "Longaniza is a Spanish sausage similar to a chorizo and also closely associated with the Portuguese linguica" (which is a form of smoke cured pork sausage season with garlic and paprika). "Its defining characteristics are interpreted differently from region to region." Helpful? No, I didn't think so either.

Leaping Waters' beef and pork longaniza isn't similar to chorizo, at all. It's a mildly spiced sausage, maybe even a little bit sweet. Doing a little bit more research I was able to find that there is also a Filipino longaniza. I've never tried authentic Filipino longaniza or Portuguese linguica but I'm going to guess that the flavor of ours is much closer to those than the flavor of chorizo. In any case, it's not terribly spicy. And since longaniza means "long and thin" we like to serve them as gourmet hot dogs. If you order hot dogs from LWF, this is the product we send you. Keep in mind though, that unlike traditional "emulsified pig part" hot dogs ours are uncured, and completely raw. They do need to be fully cooked before serving. I suggest grilling but sauteing works just fine, too. I haven't tried deep frying them yet so if you get a chance let me know how that is ;)

So, what should you do with your longaniza? I'm a huge advocate for the gourmet hot dog route. For these, I prefer a Chicago style dog with diced white onion, yellow mustard, hot peppers, tomato, and pickle and/or relish. I'm also a huge fan of adding bacon and mayo to it. If that's too much trouble for a hot dog for you, they're just as delicious plain and simple with ketchup and mustard. Or you could do spicy mustard and saurkraut, or a chili-cheese dog. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. I'm a sucker for a good hot dog. If you have any suggestions for me, I'm all ears. 

If you're not feeling the hot dog thing for your longaniza, maybe a more traditional preparation is more up your alley. Filipino longaniza is usually served for breakfast alongside eggs and fried rice. Here's a link a recipe for Filipino garlic fried rice (served with longaniza and eggs):

A restaurant I used to work at would do a Portuguese inspired dish with chorizo and mussels in a saffron coconut broth that was amazing. We'd all fight for the last of the broth like it was liquid gold. With this dish in mind, some left over longaniza in the fridge, and the the insatiable craving for curry I whipped up a mussel and longaniza red curry that I thought was delicious. Please note, I have very limited experience with authentic Thai cuisine. I'm going to share my recipe with you with the disclaimer that I was only trying to satisfy my own tastes, not make the most authentic curry to ever grace the dinner tables of Southwest Virginia. This Bobby Flay recipe is what I used as base for my curry: All the ethnic ingredients I needed I purchased at Oasis World Market, the mussels were probably from Kroger or the amazing ladies at Indigo Farms Seafood. In addition to what Bobby calls for I added hot Thai chili peppers, sweet red pepper, pineapple, and grape or cherry tomatoes (whole). I served that with jasmine rice and a squeeze of lime juice. I got good feedback from this but I'd love to hear what you think. 

I don't have any pictures of my culinary explorations with the longaniza so instead I thought I'd share a picture of my little hot dog, Zephyr. He's a wire-haired dachshund who always enjoys the time I spend in the kitchen testing out new recipes.

I hope you all enjoy the longaniza, whatever you decide to do with it. If you have any recipes you'd like to share, send them to me at
If there's a product you'd like some help with, let me know! 

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