Longaniza is a spicy pork sausage that is very popular in the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries, as well as in Spain and the Philippines. Dominican longaniza sausage is an essential part of frituras and can also be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Why we ❤️ it
In the Dominican Republic, you'll see the long, thin ropes of homemade longaniza sausages hanging from roadside stalls all over the country. Dominicans love longaniza sausage for its intense, spicy flavor and because it's the ultimate homemade campo food. Longaniza is a valued part of our gastronomic culture, referenced in well-known merengue songs and folk sayings.
You can also see here our recipe for making homemade longaniza, perfect for those away from La Tierrita.
Longaniza is first and foremost popular as a fritura – fried street snack. You'll find longaniza as an ingredient in traditional Dominican dishes: fried with Tostones it's called Picalonga; it's used as an ingredient in the popular Sancocho, Chambre or chapea, and many more. We even made them into sandwiches!
- Longaniza Frita or Picalonga (Fried Longaniza Sausage)
- Longaniza Guisada (Pork Sausage in Tomato Sauce)
- Locrio de Longaniza y Camarones ("Surf and Turf" Rice)
- Tayota Guisada con Longaniza (Chayote with Pork Sausage)
- Longaniza Hamburgers (Sandwich)
- Asopao de Longaniza (Dominican Sausage Rice Stew)
- Locrio de Trigo (Dominican Bulgur Pilaf)
- Carne Mechada (Braised Beef Roll)
Longaniza, with its intense flavors, will transform even the plainest of dishes into an extra-tasty feast without much additional expense.
Longaniza is a spiced pork sausage that was traditionally stuffed into a casing made of a pig's lower intestines, after being thoroughly washed and cleaned. Nowadays, commercially made longaniza is usually stuffed into an artificial casing. Traditionally the sausage is cured by hanging it out in the sun for several hours. The cured longaniza is then cut into medium or smaller pieces for cooking or frying. Raw longaniza (uncured), which requires freezing, can be bought at supermarkets.
In Spain, traditional recipes for longaniza contain paprika and sometimes other spices like nutmeg and ground anise seeds. It tastes and looks like a thin, long salchichón. In most other parts of Latin America, the varieties of longaniza you'll find have much more in common with the Dominican version.
Dominican longaniza ingredients
Our Longaniza recipe calls for pork, garlic, agrio de naranja (sour orange juice), oregano, and salt and black pepper. As with so many traditional recipes, every cook will have their own particular version, but the basic ingredients tend to be the same.
Longaniza is the second most popular Dominican sausage after salami.
History of longaniza sausage
Longaniza originated in Spain and made its way across the world with the conquest of the Americas. The spices used in longaniza vary from country to country, and within the countries themselves. It was also adopted as a standard food in the Philippines, also a former Spanish colony, where it's known as "longganisa" and there are hundreds of different versions.
As mentioned earlier, longaniza is also eaten in many Spanish-speaking countries like Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador, as well as in the Dominican Republic and its country of origin, Spain. The longaniza you get in Spain is made with paprika – which gives its red color – unlike most of its Latin American variants. Longaniza also has a lot in common with the Portuguese and Brazilian linguiça sausage.
Longaniza and homemade longaniza ingredients.
Longaniza vs chorizo
Although each contains similar ingredients, chorizo, and longaniza taste and look considerably different. Both types of this spicy pork sausage are made with pork, but chorizo is made with minced or ground pork meat, while longaniza is made with chopped pork. Longaniza is a very long and thin sausage, the length of the pig's intestine that is used for the casing, about a meter long. Chorizo sausages are much shorter and thicker than longaniza.
How to make homemade longaniza
This is a recipe that readers have requested many times over the years we have been writing about Dominican food. I'd never worked up the courage to try it, mainly because I wasn't going to work with tripe; it seemed like the kind of thing that would be hard for our readers living in urban areas or abroad to find. It then occurred to me that the casing adds little to none in the way of flavor.
We can get the flavor without all the work and accouterments needed to stuff it into casings. I am happy with the results, and while this will not work for all the recipes in which we use longaniza, it may work for others. You can also double or triple the ingredients to make great quantities and freeze them for later use.
How to Make Homemade Longaniza - Best Recipes
For the longaniza sausage
- Place all the ingredients for the sausage in the food processor. Pulse until meat is minced. Divide into quarters and shape into sausages about 1" [2.5 cm] in diameter.
- Place the sausage in a container with a tight-fitting lid and let it rest overnight in the fridge.If you want to preserve it for longer, freeze individually wrapped in wax paper or parchment paper.
- This homemade longaniza is best used for frying or guisadas. See recipes further above.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.
Longaniza is a sausage made with chopped pork meat. It contains between 50% to 25% pork fat - this does not work with lean cuts. The more fat, the juicier the end result will be. I use pork chops because they are easy to find and because they already have a lot of fat. You can also use pork shoulder.
There isn't an English name as such, but longaniza can be described as "a long, spicy pork sausage."
In the Dominican Republic, longaniza is made with pork, garlic, oregano, agrio de naranja (a widely used spicy vinegar made with the juice of bitter oranges, garlic, and herbs), and salt and pepper. In other countries where longaniza is part of the culinary tradition, it may be flavored in different ways and contain alternative types of meat. For example, Puerto Rican longaniza is made with bija (achiote or annatto seeds, a natural food coloring) and chicken and turkey meat are also sometimes used instead of, or along with, pork.
Yes, commercially produced longaniza is sold frozen and you can store it in the freezer like any other sausage.
Dominican longaniza is a salty sausage, with a strong, smoky, meaty taste, the essence of garlic and oregano, and the citrusy flavor notes of agrio de naranja.
Longaniza is now produced commercially and you can buy it at any supermarket in the Dominican Republic. For the authentic home-cooked taste of this spicy sausage, the best place to get it is from roadside vendors and specialized frituras (fried food establishments) all over the country. Outside of the Dominican Republic, you may be able to find it in specialist Asian and Latino stores and markets.
Dominican fried sausage is a favorite fritura (fried food) in its own right, but there are also several other ways of cooking longaniza. We add it to some of our most popular stews, soups, and rice dishes. Longaniza is guaranteed to transform any simple dish into something special and extra tasty.
Published Jun 19, 2015, revised