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I have a recipe that calls for "mild ground chorizo". At my regular grocery today I saw three brands of ground chorizo, but all were simply labeled "chorizo". The listed ingredients included "spices" but no hints about the level of heat.

I've had chorizo dishes in restaurants that varied from mild to super spicy. The last time I purchased chorizo I believe it was very spicy out of the package.

How can I know if I'm purchasing mild chorizo or spicy chorizo? I plan to visit other grocery stores to see what they have. The recipe includes additional spices that will add some heat, so I would prefer not to start with chorizo that may already be too hot. Alternatively, would another variety of mild sausage be an acceptable substitute?

  • All chorizo is spicy to a certain extent, but some more than others. Dulce would be mild and Picante would be hot. – GdD May 15 '17 at 12:08
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    Do you have a butcher in town that sells chorizo? They'd be able to better tell you how spicy the sausage they are grounding is going to be and can even mix a mild and hot one if you want something in between. – Scott Mitchell May 19 '17 at 17:05
  • Ultimately I bought some from a butcher who told me he had never heard of mild chorizo, but that his chorizo was not overly spicy. I was lucky - after the added spices in my recipe it tasted very balanced. – juggler May 20 '17 at 10:54
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You realistically can't, unless they print it on the wrapper. If the manufacturer gives more detail in the ingredients, maybe. But if it just says "spices", it's trial and error, unfortunately.

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