FoodChoripán crowned world's tastiest hot dog: A culinary journey

Choripán crowned world's tastiest hot dog: A culinary journey

Images source: © Getty Images | Javier Ghersi. Todos los derechos reservados.

8:38 PM EDT, May 13, 2024

A bun served with a hot dog or sausage has stayed a beloved street food favorite for decades. Around the world, we can find varied versions of hot dogs, but the sandwich from Argentina is often considered the tastiest. What secrets does choripán hold?

The Taste Atlas service, known for ranking the world's best dishes, recently unveiled its list of the most delicious hot dogs.

Second place was claimed by a delicacy from Chile. The Completo features a bun encasing a boiled Vienna sausage and is topped with sauerkraut, avocado puree, chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, and mustard.

The unmatched champion, however, hails from Argentina. So, what's inside? The clue is in the name – choripán, a fusion of the words 'chorizo', a spicy sausage, and 'pan', signifying crispy bread, often similar to a baguette. This dish emerged in the early 20th century alongside the influx of European immigrants to Argentina, particularly from Germany, who introduced their sausage-making traditions. Local twists include the addition of aromatic chimichurri sauce and tomato salsa.

Today, choripán stands as one of Argentina's most popular street foods. It is a staple of asado (grand feasts where grilled meat is celebrated), enjoyed by soccer fans and Buenos Aires taxi drivers alike, who can be seen queuing at food stalls and booths to get this delicacy during lunchtime.

Chorizo, or perhaps white sausage?

Choripán might seem exotic, but it's quite easy to make at home. The main challenge could be finding authentic Argentine chorizo, which differs from its European counterparts, particularly the Spanish ones, by mainly being beef-based instead of pork. This South American sausage must always be cooked – either boiled or fried before consumption.

Choripán© Getty Images | Javier Ghersi. Todos los derechos reservados.

The chorizo available from the Iberian Peninsula can also be used for choripán. Different variations exist, each distinct in meat grind coarseness, pig breed, shape, level of spiciness, and method of preparation. Popular varieties include vela, sarta (a raw, aging sausage typically added to sandwiches or tapas), and fresco (the most aromatic, requiring baking or frying, perfect for choripán).

Some even experiment with white sausage in their choripán, a variation proposed by Ewa Wachowicz, among others. When choosing this meat, its quality is paramount – ideally, it should contain over 90 percent meat, indicated by a darker, pinker color. A paler hue suggests a higher fat content.

Choripán – recipe

Begin with the Argentine chimichurri sauce. Chop washed and dried parsley leaves (about a cup) and fresh oregano or cilantro (a tablespoon, though this is optional). Press 4-5 garlic cloves, and combine all these ingredients in a bowl. Add olive oil (half a cup), red wine vinegar (3-4 tablespoons) or lime juice, and season with chilli flakes, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Mix well and let it sit for at least an hour in a covered dish in a cool place (some suggest leaving it at room temperature).

To prepare a quick salsa, mix chopped tomato and a small red onion (diced) with olive oil (a tablespoon), red wine vinegar (a teaspoon), and salt (half a teaspoon).

Now, it's time to cook the sausage, chorizo or white. If using chorizo, slit it lengthwise and place it cut-side down on the pan or grill. Toast the sliced bun or baguette after drizzling it with olive oil.

Finally, assemble by filling the bun with the sausage and topping it with salsa and chimichurri. And just like that, it's ready to enjoy!

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