HomeTypical Spanish ProductsSpanish Sausages and Black Pudding

Spanish Sausages and Black Pudding

Pork must be the most commonly eaten animal in Spain. Not one bit is wasted, even the skin is fried and served as a snack, if you visit Spain during a Spanish course, you'll be able to try the much popular cortezas de cerdo. Perhaps Spain's history has a lot to do with the custom of making the most of one single animal; during the times of wars and civil wars there would be shortage of all kinds of food. Apart from the meat Spanish sausages are made, such as longaniza, chorizo, morcillas (black pudding), etc.

The domestic pig comes from wild boars, and there are archeological vestiges in Spain that prove these animals were tamed over 4,000 years old. When men formed groups and settled, the boars, and then pigs, would follow them to eat their waste and to protect themselves from predators that fled from humans. So man's history is tightly knit with the pig's.

Many times men's livelihood have depended on this animal, for instance, the sailors that first discovered and then conquered and colonized America carried live animals in their ships, so pork and chicken became the only source of protein in voyages that could last up to months. The animals would be taken on board alive, so the sustenance could be stretched for as long as possible

The Matanza - Slaughter


A typical tradition in most of rural Spain is the matanza: the sacrifice of one or more animals for the produce of the Spanish sausages and black puddings. As much as there are huge pig farms where the breeding and slaughter is industrialized, the ancestral custom of the matanza remains a popular one.

It takes place once a year, normally closer to the colder months. Whole families get together for the event, friends and neighbors are invited. Until fairly recently the head of family or an expert slaughterer would kill the animal (while four or more helped to hold it still), through different methods depending on the region. But now its regulated and only a vet can carry out the slaughter. This law was passed in order to ensure the animal a more humane death and the vet normally sedates the animal before it's killed.

The slaughter itself can last up to two or three days, depending on the number of animals to be sacrificed, and the whole family participates. Once the animal is killed, its hanged and buckets are placed under it to collect the blood which will be turned into black puddings. The rest of the animal will be used to prepare all sort of Spanish sausages.



One of the most typical types of Spanish sausages. Longanizas are made of minced pork meat stuffed in a casing of pig's intestine and flavored with different types of herbs and seasonings. The best known longanizas are:

  • Longaniza from Aragon: the meat is minced very small, and it must have 70% of lean pork and 30% belly pork. It may be seasoned with salt and pepper, garlic, oregano, nutmeg, vinegar, etc. Each region in Aragon uses different herbs and flavors.
  • Longaniza from Navarra: the intestine is stuffed with finely diced dices, egg, rice, saffron, parsley.
  • Longaniza from Catalonia: the fuet is elaborated with lean pork and chopped belly pork, marinated in black pepper and other spices and stuffed in the pig's intestine.

Morcilla - Black pudding

Morcilla de Burgos

The morcilla is a meatless Spanish sausage, the intestine casing is mainly filled with coagulated pig's blood and seasoned with different spices and vegetables such as garlic and in some cases rice. In Spain is tightly related to the Matanza and there are many varieties, of which the following are most popular:

  • Morcilla de Burgos: made with blood, pig fat, rice, red pepper, salt and onion. It's stuffed in a pig or cow intestine casing. There are varieties within the variety, which differ in what spices are used. For instance, Morcilla de Aranda is seasoned with cumin, black pepper and a touch of cinnamon
  • Morcilla de Leon: elaborated with blood, pig fat, mint and lots and lots of onion. There are some morcillas in Leon which are cured. Normally eaten fried or barbecued.
  • Morcilla Andaluza: elaborated with belly pork, dewlap, bacon and blood and seasoned with garlic, salt and a mix of spices such as oregano and cumin These morcillas are typically fried, grilled or served in tapas
  • Morcilla patatera: a mix of blood and mashed potatoes stuffed in a pig intestine casing, typical from Extremadura. It uses paprika as a natural dye and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Morcilla Murciana: Elaborated with blood, pork fat, onion, salt, sweet pepper, clove and pine nuts. Consumed either dried or very fresh.

Other pork sausages and cold meats

  • Spanish Chorizo: Chorizo is a well cured sausage (cured and aired) made with minced pork meat and marinated in spices, most commonly paprika, which gives it its typical red color. Garlic is also important in order to be denominated Spanish chorizo. The casing is usually made from small intestine.
  • Sobrasada: typical product from Baleares Islands, it's a raw cured sausage made from selected cuts of pork meat, flavored with salt, paprika and black pepper and spiced to the taste. Its stuffed in a tripe casing and left to slowly mature.
  • Butifarra: fresh sausage typical from Catalonia, the base is made with minced pork, salt and pepper and other spices. Other different ingredients are used, according to the region or taste of the manufacturer, such as egg, blood, truffles, rice, pine nuts, etc. There's even a sweet butifarra elaborated with honey.
  • Salchichón: Made with lean pork and a small percentage of belly pork, seasoned with salt and spices such as pepper, nutmeg, clove or coriander. This is stuffed in an intestine casing. It can be smoked or air dried. There are some salchichones that are made with a mix of pork and other meats, such as beef, boar or venison.

We recommend touring different regions of Spain to taste these delicious Spanish sausages in their source of origin if you travel to Spain.