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A relative of mine is in food retail, and recently she gave me some chorizo. With the basic advice 'hang it in the fridge'

I am not sure if it is edible as yet, and how long it will be edible for, are there any guidelines for this? Should it be eaten raw or cooked?

Also my fridge is not really suitable for hanging the food is there any advice for this?

edit

Thanks for the answers, I believe that it is cured chorizo, but it is still being cured, is there a guideline on how long it will be before it is safe to eat?

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Are you asking is it safe to eat without frying or otherwise cooking it? –  mfg Oct 20 '10 at 17:59
    
Partly, I suppose I am asking if it is safe to eat and how to store it so it remains so. –  Jeremy French Oct 28 '10 at 13:00
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Without knowing the constituent ingredients of the sausage it is difficult to give exact advice. There are generally two types of chorizo fresh (or cooking chorizo) and cured chorizo.

Fresh or cooking chorizo is made with pork, red wine, smoked paprika and salt (along with some other spices depending on the particular recipe). The alcohol and salt combine as a mild preservative and therefore the sausage will last a little longer than a normal fresh sausage but only a few weeks realistically. As the name and the lack of a long curing process suggests it needs cooking before it can be eaten.

Cured chorizo is made using similar ingredients but uses more salt and sometimes some sodium nitrate and nitrite. The additional chemicals create a much stronger preservative drawing out the moisture and curing the meat so that it can be safely eaten raw when finished.

Cured chorizo develops a darker colour and loses around 30% of it's weight as it hangs whereas the fresh chorizo is likely to go bad if left to hang but this is only general advice and not definitive.

As for hanging locations, sausages normally hang best in cool environments, 15 degrees C max, with a humidity of 60-70%.

Hope this helps.

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From what your friend tells you, it will be a cured Chorizo.

When a cured Chorizo is soft, it could be hung to dry, or it could be used for cooking (or it could be eaten as it is), depending on your preferences.

Cured Chorizo can be kept hanging in a cool dark place for a long time. As the moist evaporates it will dry out. Once it starts to get tough, it will be a good time to start eating it.

The skin will develop a white fungus that's not harmful and the bacteria in the cured Chorizo are lactobacillus that are 'sold' as healthy in yogurt.

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