While the concept of sausage is simple, thousands of variations can be found throughout the world. Sausages can be fresh, cured, smoked, or cooked. They are made of beef, pork, veal, chicken, and more. And they can include myriad ingredients, from spices and herbs to fruits, vegetables, and cheeses—and even liquids such as beer, whiskey, or blood. Our “Sausage in Profile” series aims to introduce you to different types of sausage—their flavor profiles, histories, and uses—from familiar favorites to unique finds.
Linguica is a cured pork sausage that’s a second cousin to chorizo, the fiery Spanish sausage. Its flavor is shaped by liberal amounts of chile, red wine vinegar, and paprika.
According to Jean Anderson, author of Food of Portugal, the name of this sausage derives from the Portuguese word for tongue—língua—not because it contains tongue, but for its long, slender, red, tongue-like appearance.
Linguica in the U.S.
If you travel through Cape Cod or to Fall River and New Bedford, MA, you have undoubtedly been exposed to a classic of all soups: Linguica, also known as Portuguese Soup or Kale Soup. This hearty meal-in-a-bowl is a melange of potatoes, kale, linguica, and sometimes white or navy beans.
Watch as our friend Troy of T-Roy Cooks shows you how to make this soup:
Linguica is also an ideal addition to such fish stews as bouillabaisse, paella, and New England-style boiled dinner, clam bake, or Cajun-style crawfish boils. It’s also great grilled simply and served on a bun with a smear of sweet or medium mustard.
In Portugal—where this sausage originated—as well as in its former colonies, linguica is enjoyed as an ingredient in a number of dishes.
Feijoada is a hearty bean stew made with smoked or cured pork and beef, vegetables, and linguica and served over rice. It’s not unlike cassoulet and is traditionally cooked in a clay pot. Variations are found around the world and the Brazilian version is often called Brazil’s national dish.
You’ll also find linguica in Francesinha, a hearty melt sandwich stuffed with sausage, beef, and cheese, doused in a beer sauce, and served with fries.
Have you tried linguica? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it? Have you had Portuguese kale soup?