Choripan, Argentina’s Beloved Street Food

Argentina is a country where food is shared with family and friends, and because of that, you would rarely see people eating on the streets or holding coffee cups on their way to somewhere.

 However, they make an exception when it comes to a few choice food items, such as the choripan.

Choripan is a beloved street food in Argentina, both by the locals and the tourists. It consists of Argentine sausage and bread. It’s almost always suggested when you’d ask for things to try out in the country. Choripan is delicious, affordable, and quick and easy to prepare.

Read on as we give you everything you could need to know about this traditional Argentinian sandwich.

What Is a Choripan?

Argentinian Choripan sausage sandwich
Argentinian Choripan

The name choripan is a combination of two words:

  • Chorizo, which refers to the sausage
  • Pan, which means bread

You get a chorizo sausage and then place it on a bun. Then you slather it with a variety of condiments, most notably chimichurri.

Like its name, this sausage on bread sandwich is very simple, yet tasting it for the first time can be life-changing.

You’re likely going to fall in love with it, so much so that if you are a tourist visiting Argentina and you try this sandwich, you’d only get frustrated looking for it when you’re back home.

Don’t just take our word for it, though, and make sure to try the choripan yourself.

Just consider these:

  • Taste Atlas includes choripan as the 26th item on its list of the best-rated street foods around the world. They describe it as the “ultimate” street food in the Latin America country.
  • Meanwhile, this HuffPost article notes that most Argentinians prefer to eat a choripan when they’re on the go.
  • BBC Good Food also names the choripan as one of the foods that you should try while in Argentina.
  • GQ writes that choripanes might be the national food of Argentina.

These are just a sampling of the accolades that this simple sandwich recipe has gotten. What’s more, ask a local for their recommendations, and a choripan might very well be one of the first ones they’d mention.

A Tradition That Got a Reboot

In Argentina, the choripan is sort of a tradition. Choripan is an appetizer when you’re at an asado or barbecue. These sandwiches are served while the guests wait for the meat to be cooked. 

Right from the time of the gauchos, the choripan became a staple food at football games. You can buy it from street vendors and join the queue of taxi drivers on their lunch break. 

But as FoodSpark has noted, this simple sausage sandwich has been given a reboot by Chori, a restaurant that specializes in modern takes of the traditional choripan.

Chori introduced several versions of the choripan, including a vegetarian variety and one that uses lamb instead of pork and beef.

Because of Chori’s involvement, the choripan soon became very popular in 2017, figuring in several lists of must-eats for visitors to Argentina and locals alike. 

Making Your Own Choripan

Grilling Argentine Chorizo on open fire
Grilling Argentine Chorizo

Part of Choripan’s allure is that it is fairly simple to make.

You grill the sausage — which is 70 percent beef and 30 percent pork, cut it in half and put it on bread.

You can season it with condiments, but most of the time, people use chimichurri sauce, which is what gives this sandwich its distinct – and addictive – flavor.

The thing with choripan is that it’s very easy to do, and it’s equally easy to shake things up.

According to BBC Good Food, the chorizo and the bread are constant, but you have an option when it comes to the toppings, which may include caramelized onions, green peppers, or pickled aubergines. 

Perhaps the most important component of choripanes is the chimichurri. It has parsley, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, and other herbs and spices. 

Here’s one way to prepare chimichurri:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp9XCotntOs

And here’s how you can create a choripan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDkK6m1GCtY

Making Choripan at Home: Some Tips

Bowl of Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri Sauce, Traditional Choripan Condiment

If you are going to try your hand at making choripanes yourself, then here are some tips:

  • Choose Argentinian-style chorizo. The best sausages for choripan are thick and fresh link sausages that get their flavor from wine, garlic, hot smoked paprika, or pimenton, among other things. Italian sausages are a good substitute.
  • Use moderate temperatures when cooking the chorizo. Be sure to preheat a grill or grill pan before you put the chorizo. Keep it cooking until they are deeply bronzed and thoroughly cooked.
  • Make the chimichurri well in advance. The best tasting chimichurri is done hours before you start cooking the chorizo. With time to rest, the flavors of the onions and the herbs will seep into the vinegar and oil. If you prefer, you can buy it online.
  • Serve hot. Choripan is best eaten within a few seconds of taking the chorizo off the grill.

Where Can You Try the Best Choripan?

If you’re not lucky enough to be invited to a barbecue in Argentina, there are several places where you can find excellent choripan and see for yourself if the hype is real:

But really, choripanes are sold just about everywhere in Argentina where there are a lot of people. And it’s difficult to find a choripan that’s awful-tasting.

And if you’re not planning on visiting Argentina soon, you can make your own choripan by following the recipe we have suggested above. Or wait for an eatery to add these sandwiches to their menu.

Foodspark notes that choripan is now available outside of Latin American countries.

In the United States, these sandwiches have been making a regular appearance at New York’s Smorgasburg, the biggest weekly market in the country.

Some other places, like restaurants in Texas and Portland, have also begun to offer choripan.

If you’re in San Antonio, Texas, you can order one at El Gaucho Pancho. But you can probably just go on Yelp to find an establishment nearby so you can get your choripan fill.

Similarly, there are choripan places across the pond, but they are mostly relegated as a side dish or snack, instead of the main dish. 

Your Wallet Will Love the Argentinian Choripan

Argentine Choripan Sandwich
Argentine Choripan Sandwich

Yes, it is delicious, but what wins most people over is that you can very well afford to have this meaty treat.

While prices may vary widely, choripanes typically sell for less than ARS50 (US0.69).

Street Food Planet reports that a well-known seller at the Mataderos Fair in Buenos Aires, sells choripanes for ARS10 ($0.14) back in 2015, way before the 2018 Argentine monetary crisis happened.

If you factor inflation in, ARS10 back in 2015 is equal to ARS48.38 ($0.67) today.

While you should try choripanes served to you right on the streets, there are restaurants that offer them on the menu.

These places are typically more expensive, but still, you might like to have a choripan for lunch, dinner, or while having a beer. 

Order it from places such as Desnivel, and you pay ARS120 (US$1.65) for it. That’s still a third of the price of a venti-sized mocha frappuccino at Starbucks.

So for the health-conscious, is eating a choripan a good idea? Let’s look at what you’re eating. 

On one hand, you have sausages, which are not the healthiest of food items.

On the other, parsley has a lot of nutrients that your body needs. It’s also rich in antioxidants and other cancer-fighting substances and can be good for your eyes and bones. 

What’s more, there’s olive oil that also has its share of benefits for your body, including having a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory property. It can also prevent strokes and promote heart health, among other things.

Overall, you might want to eat choripan in moderation. According to MyFitnessPal, one serving of choripan has 79 grams of fat. To burn off that choripan craving, you will need to do 2.3 hours of cycling or 1.5 hours of running.

Conclusion

Two choripanes on cutting board
Choripanes

It’s easy to fall in love with choripanes. One bite and you will understand why Argentina and other South American countries are going loco over this sandwich.

In fact, choripan made our list of 17 Delicious Argentine Dishes You Should Be Eating Now.

In a country where street food is not that popular, the choripan stands out as a quick and easy snack that is less messy than American hotdogs.

It also goes well as an appetizer for steaks and other roasted meats. 

And yes, it’s very simple to do and very affordable, too.

Okay, it’s dessert time! Check out our article, 16 Argentinian Desserts No One Can Turn Down

And as always, visit our online store and shop for freshly imported Argentine foods and drinks!

Sources

Please Share & Spread the Love of Latin Foods!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!