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Mariano Vivas-Sabido’s love for chorizo began early. Every summer, his family would travel from Barcelona to his father’s native region of Leon, in northern Spain. There, Mariano would watch the generations-old chorizo-making process, fascinated by every element from the butchering of the pigs to the seasoning of the meat and the curing of the sausages. This chorizo was the best around, and the Vivas family would take a year’s supply back with them to Barcelona.
Mariano moved from Barcelona to Christchurch in 2006 with his Kiwi wife and their two young daughters. Here, his longing for an authentic taste of home led him to begin producing his own fresh chorizo right here in New Zealand. Using the traditional Vivas family recipe, he began to experiment.
Mariano’s mother always said to him, “Whatever you do, you must do with love” and this motto has guided him ever since. His chorizo is made with quality ingredients, including Murrellen free-range pork, and doesn’t contain any nitrates or preservatives, and is also gluten-free. The pork is minced once to give it a chunky texture, and then the other ingredients are mixed in by hand. Mariano himself fills each natural sausage casing using an Italian sausage maker – which is why no two chorizo are the same size. The sausages are then left to hang to let the flavours develop.
Mariano’s chorizo was a runner up in this year’s Cuisine Artisan Awards, and his sausages have been endorsed by leading expat chef Peter Gordon. Because his chorizo is fresh, rather than cured, it needs to be cooked. It is amazingly versatile – grill it, fry it, barbecue it; add it to soups and stews for a touch of spice; put it on your pizza, mix it through your pasta or use it in your paella.
Mariano's chorizo is available from our Mt. Eden showroom.