If you love sausage, we encourage you to check out one of the world’s most delicious sausages: longanisa sausage, which is often spelled as longaniza sausage (or longganisa in the Philippines).
Longanisa sausage is usually made from ground pork (but sometimes beef), and this unique sausage has a signature thin and long shape. However, the story behind this sausage is complex, so let’s dive in and learn all about longanisa sausage.
What Is Longanisa Sausage?
Longanisa sausage is similar to another sausage that you may be more familiar with: Spanish chorizo sausage. Chorizo sausage is popular in Spanish and Mexican cooking.
Longanisa is also a close cousin of the popular Portuguese linguica sausage. In recent decades, longanisa has become strongly associated with the Philippines.
Although longanisa originated in Spain, it has made its way around the globe, and every cuisine has its own version of this delicious sausage. Some longanisa is sweet, while other versions can be garlic-flavored, spicy, and even citrusy.
Here are some of the regions that have their own version of longanisa.
- El Salvador
- Puerto Rico
- Dominican Republic
What Is Longaniza Made Of?
Most sausage is made from ground meat (pork, chicken, beef, or turkey). However, longaniza is made from pork that has been chopped instead of ground. Since longanisa is made out of chopped meat, the texture is very different from that of sausage made from ground meat.
Usually, longanisa is made of pork that is stuffed into intestinal casings. However, some variations of longanisa are made from beef, turkey, and chickens. In the Philippines, longanisa variations are even made with tuna.
What part of the hog does longanisa come from? This varies depending on which region of the world made the sausage. In most cases, pork longanisa is made from lean pork shoulder.
Because fat is needed to make sausage, pork fat is usually used with lean pork meat to make longanisa.
Longanisa Sausage Varieties by Various Regions
Below are some of the regions around the world where you can find longanisa.
Because longaniza originated in Spain, this delicious sausage is still an integral part of Spanish cuisine. In Spain, longanisa is usually seasoned with any of these ingredients.
- Black pepper
Spanish longaniza is a thin and long salchichon. Salchichon is a summer sausage that’s made by smoking or drying. To cook Spanish longaniza, you can pan-fry it or grill it, then serve it sliced or with bread.
Even though longaniza originated in Spain, the sausage recipe really found its footing in the Philippines, and you can find hundreds of varieties in Filipino food. Here are just a few of the most well-known Filipino longganisa varieties and the regions where they are popular.
- Vigan longganisa: Ilocos Region (pork)
- Alaminos longganisa: Pangasinan (pork)
- Cabanatuan longganisa (sometimes called Batutay): Nueva Ecija (beef)
- Longaniza de Guinobatan: Guinobatan, Albay (pork)
- Chorizo de Bilbao: made with paprika (dry pork)
- Chorizo de Cebu (also called longganisa de Cebu): Cebu (pork)
- Chorizo de Macao: made with anise liqueur (dry pork)
- Chorizo Negrense (or Bacolod Longganisa) – pork longganisa from Negros Island
- Pinuneg: Cordillera Administrative Region (pork blood sausage)
- Lucban longganisa with oregano: Quezon (pork)
- Pampanga longganisa: Pampanga (pork)
- Tuguegarao longganisa (also called Longganisang Ybanag): Cagayan Valley (pork)
Filipinos consider longganisa to be an “altanghap” food,” which means that it can be served with any meal of the day – not just at breakfast.
Uruguay and Argentina
Uruguayan and Argentinian cuisine includes longaniza made of cured pork sausage and dried. Much of the flavor of the sausage comes from anise seeds, a regional flavor that is strongly associated with the cuisine in Argentina and Uruguay.
In these countries, longaniza usually isn’t cooked. Rather, it is served as an appetizer or in a sandwich. The flavor of longaniza in Argentina and Uruguay is mildly sweet and salty.
The island territory of Puerto Rico makes its longaniza like the original version with pork. However, you’ll sometimes find Puerto Rican longaniza made with chicken or turkey.
In Puerto Rico, longaniza is made with annatto seeds, so the sausage has an orange-red color. Other seasonings can include oregano, garlic, and nutmeg. Puerto Rican longaniza is served with white rice and/or beans.
In the Dominican Republic, you can enjoy longaniza as popular street food. Since colonial times, longaniza has been one of the DR’s iconic dishes.
In the Dominican Republic, longaniza is made with salt, garlic, oregano, and bitter orange juice (or lime juice).
To prepare their longaniza, people in the DR sun-cure the sausage for a few days. Then they fry it or boil it. Longaniza in the DR is typically served with fries, rice, tostones, or batata.
In Chile, longaniza is a beloved staple that is prepared on September 18 for the Fiesta Patrias de Chile. This celebration commemorates the start of Chile’s independence and lasts for two days.
Chilean longaniza is usually made with jalapeno peppers, paprika, cumin, and chicha, a popular beer in Latin America. Once it’s seasoned, the sausage is grilled.
Chileans like their longaniza served as a choripan, a sandwich made with crusty bread and garnished with chimichurri sauce.
The Spanish brought longaniza to Mexico during the 1500s. In the beginning, Spanish longaniza was made with pork, but in the modern era, the sausage is made in a traditional Mexican way.
Mexican longaniza is sometimes called Tropical Mexican longaniza. This delicious sausage is seasoned with vinegar, salt, dry red pepper, and paprika.
Tropical Mexican longaniza is great for making sopa (soup), tortas, and tacos. You can also serve it with eggs, tomatoes, and chilis or wrapped in flour or corn tortillas.
What Is the Difference Between Chorizo vs. Longaniza?
In many Latin American countries, you’ll find chorizo to be the most popular sausage. While longaniza is a distant cousin of chorizo, there are some key differences between the two.
For one thing, longaniza is usually much thinner than chorizo. Also, longaniza is a bit drier than the juicy, fatty chorizo. Because it is leaner, longaniza is great for grilling.
Chorizo is nearly always prepared with pork, but longaniza can actually be made with several different types of meat (similar to bologna).
In terms of seasoning, chorizo is flavored mostly with chili powder and paprika. Alternatively, longaniza’s flavor comes from garlic, salt, and black pepper.
How to Cook Longanisa Sausage
There are several different ways to cook longanisa. You can smoke this delicious sausage or fry it. Alternatively, you can also eat longanisa fresh, freeze it, or cure it for future use.
Before you cook your longaniza, thaw it overnight in the fridge if it’s frozen. Most experts recommend boiling longaniza before you grill it or fry it.
How to Boil Longaniza
Boil longaniza for about 20 minutes in a pot until the water is nearly evaporated.
Once it’s boiled, cut the longaniza up into small pieces for grilling or frying.
Longanisa Sausage FAQs
Below, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about longanisa.
What is longaniza sausage?
Longaniza is a sausage that is usually made with chopped pork. In some cases, other meats are used to make longaniza, including beef, chicken, turkey, and tuna (in the Philippines).
Longanisa originated in Spain, but it has become popular in regions all over the world.
What does Filipino longanisa taste like?
Filipino longganisa is an integral part of the diet in the Philippines, and it’s considered to be an all-day food. Most Filipino longganisa is made with garlic and is salty and savory. It’s very unusual to find a Filipino longganisa that isn’t loaded with garlic.
The salty and savory type of Filipino longganisa is called “de recado.” However, some varieties of Filipino longganisa (hamonado) have a sweeter flavor.
Where can I buy longanisa sausage?
To buy longaniza, check specialty Latin or Asian stores if you live near a big city. When you buy longaniza in a store, you can find it frozen, pre-made, and uncooked.
Because longaniza is cured, you can also find it online.
How long does longanisa last in the fridge?
Fresh longaniza can be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator. Once it’s cooked, you can keep it in the fridge for up to four days.
How long is sausage good for in the freezer?
For best quality, freeze sausage for up to two months. Although the freezer will keep sausage safe indefinitely, the flavor will slowly deteriorate over time.