Chorizo Rioja (chor-IZ-oh ri-OH-ha) is a Spanish-style salami with sweet & smoked paprika, garlic and oregano. Best enjoyed with copious amounts of Spanish wine.
The Chorizo Rioja is available for a limited time from Knoshbox.
I sliced this sausage super thin, served it with the Castleton Crackers that also came in the Knoshbox this month, and instead of serving it with lots of red wine … I poured a cup of this Pu-erh Cabernet from Vintage TeaWorks. The spicy flavors of the sausage really complemented the gentle spices of the tea blend, and the sweetness of the tea softened the somewhat oily/greasy taste of the sausage, while the rich, buttery, grainy taste of the crackers toned down the overall spicy note. This was a spectacular FEAST!
What I Think:
This isn’t the first sausage that I’ve tried from Olympic Provisions … I had the Cacciatore Salami which was featured in my Portland tasting box from Foodzie. So, I had a pretty good idea of what I might expect from this sausage – it would be really hard, but also full of flavor. I was a little worried that this was a chorizo sausage though, my experience with chorizo has always been a VERY spicy sausage.
And while it IS spicy, it isn’t “mouth-on-fire” spicy. The spices are warm, and if I ate a lot of it at one time, my mouth might be on fire, but when sliced thin and eaten with crackers and tea, it is a very enjoyable, mildly warm sausage that is very flavorful.
It has a delicious, meaty flavor that is well-spiced. But the spices are not out of control HOT with this sausage like I expected it to be. The spices maintain a balance with the meat and allow the many layers of flavor be experienced without setting my tongue aflame.
My Final Thoughts:
I was thrilled that Knoshbox included a sausage from Olympic Provisions! They’re a local company, and I love supporting local business, and I found this particular sausage to be even more enjoyable than the Cacciatore Salami that I tried previously. This surprised me because I typically steer away from chorizo because of its spicy reputation, and my few experiences with chorizo in the distant past had taught me that chorizo is a bit too much for me, but, this experience has opened my eyes to new possibilities with this sausage!