Chorizo on the Cheap

Without an immediate care in the world, I take down my ramen from the communal microwave, an appliance that looks older than I am. Before I have the pleasure of digging, one of my roommates asks:

Is that chorizo?

No, it’s ramen. That’s why I have empty ramen bags out.

I love chorizo — Why wouldn’t I? It’s a sausage by equal turns spicy, greasy and made of meat. Unfortunately, like most meats not packaged in The Jungle and sealed in vacuum-wrapped factory plastic, it’s too expensive for my tastes.

It sure smells like ramen. Well, what’s in it?

One Top Ramen flavoring packet, a chopped-up hot dog, garlic powder and hearty amount of what the good folks at McCormick call “Italian Seasoning.” Oh, and about a gallon of Tapatio.

Cautiously, as if my tacky soup bowl might jump out and bite her, she approached my bacheloric combination of Mexican spice, Italian seasoning, American meat, Japanese noodles and my hometown‘s claim to fame.

She took a good whiff, almost immediately declaring it chorizo. I voiced skepticism.

No, look — my mom’s coming today, and she’s Mexican. I’ll ask her.

Almost as soon as she spoke, the doorbell rang. Her mother’s first words, to my roommate:

How are you doing, today, m’ija … is that chorizo?

It almost makes we want to actually buy some of the real stuff. Then I remember that, apparently, I don’t have to.


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