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Meet The Underground Chorizero Making Handmade Zacatecas-Style Chorizo That’s ‘Too Spicy,’ According to Other Mexicans 

The chorizo is made with coarse ground pork butt, shoulder, and dried chiles. No adobo, paste, or nitrates are used for it compared to other chorizos that will add those elements for flavor and coloring. This emerging chorizo master is so proud of his Zacatecano roots that he even sources the string to tie the links from Zacatecas, too.

No two chorizos are the same. Some are long, some chubby, some are pasty, and some are overly greasy. You can find most styles of chorizo around Los Angeles, including chorizo Zacatecano. But one hyper-regional style of chorizo that’s highly sought after and almost impossible to find until now is chorizo estilo Moyahua, Zacatecas. 

For as long as I can remember, the only way to get it was through a family member traveling back to the motherland. They’d pack up a box, tie it up with string, and bring it back for their family on either a plane or a bus. Well, my primo, Anselmo Torres, aka Chemo, has taken it upon himself to reach out to his family, who owns Carnicería El Toro in the small remote town of Cuxpala, a municipality of Moyahua, Zacatecas, and ask them to teach him. He has spent years perfecting, modifying, and selling this unique style and delivering it from Whittier to Oxnard. 

Anselmo Torres of Chemo's Chorizo holding up a strand of chorizo balls. Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.

Traditionally, it’s meaty, spicy, and prepared in small ‘bolitas’ (balls). That’s how Moyahuenses like it. But in the States, Torres has found he’s had to make a milder version for customers who complain. When asked if it was white folks complaining about the spicy level, a reference to the recent gentrification of salsas in Mexico City, Torres reacts with “Surprisingly, no. It’s mostly Mexicans. White people love it.” 

A plate of tacos with Chemo's Chorizo. Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.
Simple torta with Chemo's chorizo, bean smear, and queso panela in a bolillo with a pickled jalapeño on the side. Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.

The chorizo is made with coarse ground pork butt, shoulder, and dried chiles. No adobo, paste, or nitrates are used for it compared to other chorizos that will add those elements for flavor and coloring. In total, with seasonings, it’s made with less than ten ingredients before it’s packaged in all-natural casings. After it’s encased, he ties it into small chorizo balls using a 100-percent cotton string he also sources from Zacatecas via Juchipila, nearby Moyahua. “It’s the only place I can find a non-nylon or plastic thread for this chorizo. It’s then airdried for a couple of days to preserve it, losing some water weight while maintaining a lean 15% fat. 

Chopped hot links, ham, and chorizo on the edge of a disco. Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.
A Discada: A disc full of cooked mixed meats with tortillas heating up on the edges. Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.

Because of its lean, meaty, and spicy nature, chorizo estilo Moyahua is enjoyed on its own as a taco or in a simple torta. But it can also add a nice kick as an ingredient, like in a discada, a popular dish from northern Mexico that mixes different meats and veggies in a large disc, hence the name. Check out this video to learn more about discadas and Chemo’s Chorizo estilo Moyahua, Zacatecas.

Chemo's Chorizo is available for delivery by DM on Instagram @chemoschorizo.

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