15 Apr2013


These were the three varieties of sausages I purchased from the “Juan Longganisa” stall at Metro Grocery the other day. I had peppered the salesperson with questions about what made one different from the other, but I didn’t really get a clear distinction one way or the other, and figured a taste test would be the best way to compare and contrast different sausages. I am guessing that the flavor profiles to be distinguished are the amount of garlic, pepper, spices, vinegar, herbs, sugar and salt that are used. Also, the fat content and the use of artificial or natural colors. I will state up front a personal bias against any sausages that are TOO SWEET, and I have written several posts on chorizos and logannisa’s before… here, here, here, here and here if you are curious.

Oh, and before I proceed. So what’s the difference between a chorizo and a longganisa? I haven’t done any extensive search, but I gather chorizos are relatively plump, dried or fresh and flavored with paprika, at least the Spanish ones are. Longanisa in Spain are longer thinner sausages, that don’t have paprika but instead rely on black pepper and other spices. But the distinctions end there… in the Philippines, it seems the term is used interchangeably. And longganisas have become more dominant to describe sausages of ALL kinds, whether pork, chicken, fish, etc. And from region to region the proportions and types of ingredients used vary a bit. In the end, they are sausages, and the term longganisa appears to be the default term for many of them. But notice how longanisa was originally long and thin, while many of the ones you buy locally are now either incredibly short, light, squat, etc. :)


Lucban, Quezon Longganisa. These particular longanisas were bizarrely small (smaller than a vienna sausage even!) and fried up dense and firm. They were heavily seasoned with salt, sugar and garlic, and tasted a bit intense, but not in an appealing way. The red food coloring was plentiful, and of watery quality, hence it leached onto the plate quite readily. I presume all three of these sausages had saltpeter/pink salt or preservative, even though refrigeration was recommended. Our impromptu tasting panel of five people definitely placed this as their least favorite longanisa, and votes were done independently. I have heard a lot of good things about Lucban longganisa in general, so perhaps I have to try some other purveyors of this delicacy to get a better feel for the variety of sausages they make in that town that is quite famous for their sausages, noodles and other food items.


Calumpit, Bulacan Longganisa. These were a nice size, if still a bit on the diminutive side. But they were more naturally colored (here was probably some color, but definitely sparingly used) and looked appealing. The fat pieces were visible in chunks, and the sausage was perhaps 40-50% fat, which is a bit on the high side. The garlic and pepper were well balanced, but the salt in the sausages we tried was a bit heavy handed, though perhaps that was done due to the absence or smaller amounts of preservative. These tasted like someone made them, does that make sense? Nice with vinegar, we would have these again.


Tuguegarao, Cagayan Longganisa. Of the three longganisas we tried, this was a clear favorite. Tasty but not overpowering, hints of garlic, salt, vinegar, spices and probably colored with achuete powder or achuete oil. This was appealing visually and tasted good. They exploded when we cooked them, but that’s okay… Everyone in our household thought this one was the best. They were about the same thickness as the ones from Calumpit, but shorter, and if I recall correctly, weren’t tied at the ends, hence the explosion while frying.

These were just three of the choices that Juan Longganisa had on offer… I will definitely have to try a few more. But for now, it’s a day of longga burps ahead. Add a can of Diet Coke, and the burps turn EVIL. :)



  1. Guia says:

    Rah, rah, rah for Tuguegarah! Grew up there, with Pampango heritage. We grew up eating these Tuguegarao longganizas, more vinegary & garlicky based with salt, pepper, but also had Pampanguena longganizas as well, seasoned with sugar, salt, garlic, pepper. Nitrates may also been added to both; atchuete colored for the Tuguegarao ones, red food color for the Pampanga ones.

    Apr 15, 2013 | 6:44 am


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  3. Betchay says:

    An aunt once gave us a mean home made Lucban longganisa and ever since it became my favorite…garlicky and fried to a crisp!It is so difficult to get one that is that delicious.Most of the time the lucban longganisa sold looks unappetizing with the runny artificial food coloring.I think the real one uses paprika as coloring.
    My second best is the Cabanatuan batutay…garlicky and beefy! Real meaty longganisa.Am not sure if that is the same as the Tuguegarao Longganisa….probably it is pork instead of beef?
    Third in my list is Vigan longganisa…garlicky,peppery with the tang of sukang Iloko!
    Not much a fan of the sweet hamonado ones!

    Apr 15, 2013 | 6:57 am

  4. millet says:

    i can smell that last picture from here! when we were in ilocos a couple of years ago, we were served vigan longganiza everywhere, and each time, it tasted different, so now i can’t tell the difference anywhere. zamboanga also has a nice longganiza.

    Apr 15, 2013 | 7:38 am

  5. ami says:

    Yikes, now I’m craving for longganiza!

    Apr 15, 2013 | 8:28 am

  6. Slightly Epicurean says:

    I’m a big fan of Lucban and Vigan. My sister-in-law purchases some whenever she visits her relatives in Quezon and brings me the kind with not too much food coloring. I also love the Vigan longganisa in Cafe Mary Grace. Their Vigan longganisa with kesong puti sandwich is my absolute favorite. I’m curious to try the Tuguegarao , Cagayan Longganisa though. I’m sure it tastes better with fried rice and atchara on the side. =)

    Apr 15, 2013 | 8:41 am

  7. Footloose says:

    The distinction in Spain appears to be the dominant spice used, i.e. chorizo with pimenton (paprika), longaniza less or absent pimenton. This seemed to be the distinction observed at home too, chorizo was red while langonizas were pale. Here in Toronto, makers of Filipino pork sausages color them a livid purplish red. I don’t buy them because they revolt me. I go for Hungarian instead which is pretty close to what you find all over Spain in color and flavor. In fact, they are great substitute for our chorizo de Bilbao.

    Standard practice at home was to fry rice in the same wok where the sausages were cooked. Again a youthful treat that might not be wise nor healthy in adulthood.

    Apr 15, 2013 | 8:42 am

  8. loony says:

    thanks, mm! were the tuguegarao longganisa the gustazo brand, by any chance? i bought them at a “food festival” in robinsons ermita last year but never got the chance to go back. i read that it is (was?) also available at mercato.

    Apr 15, 2013 | 10:48 am

  9. Lissa says:

    My childhood favorite is Alaminos longganisa paired with sinangag and a cup of tablea on the side. Sadly, I have never gotten my hands on the same quality Alaminos longganisa from my childhood. That longganisa shrinks to about a third of its original size, so you have a pretty good idea how much fat there is in each link ;)

    Apr 15, 2013 | 1:07 pm

  10. MiMac says:

    hurray for tuguegarao longganiza! we actually let them explode and cook till it’s “disintegrated” and the small parts turn tutong. love the crunch factor. :) perfect with native suka, pepper and garlic dip!

    Apr 15, 2013 | 4:04 pm

  11. Francesca says:

    you should try the lucban longganisa from Buddy’s, they’re good.

    Apr 15, 2013 | 5:06 pm

  12. Clarissa says:

    Lucban Longganisa is one of my favorite longganisas. I am biased of course, since that is my dad’s province, and I hate sweet longganisa as well. We usually boil this in a bit of water before frying to keep it moist. Or adding a bit of water to the frying pan, peircing the skin, and letting the water dry up and the fat render from the longganisa itself. It’s crunchy but tender also.

    I have recreated this successfully at home. Lots of garlic, salt, lots of oregano, some paprika (for color), pepper too, and using chopped fat with ground pork (instead of all chopped, it’s just too tedious for me). And it was good! Try Buddy’s from the Market Market food court.

    I like Tuguegarao, Cabanatuan and also Vigan or Batac from Ilocos. I like longganisans generally, just not the sweet ones. :)

    Apr 15, 2013 | 5:36 pm

  13. Risa says:

    If you want to retain the shape of the Tugue longganisa, don’t cut up the links. This method also keeps the sausages moist inside and just golden brown outside. It retains tenderness after reheating (assuming there are any left to reheat).

    Oh, and did you fry the rice in the rendered fat and caramelized pan drippings? Cardiologists should look away!!!

    My mother used to buy this very large and red longganisa (seriously 1.5 inches in diameter) that you slice and fry. I remember them to be very good.

    Apr 15, 2013 | 6:00 pm

  14. rvinno_md says:

    I’m not from Lucban, but I live two towns away so I do have personal bias for the Lucban Longganisa. It really does have an intense flavor, but dipping it or rather “washing it off” with vinegar with lots of garlic does a lot for the taste. Some people prefer them to be fried until crisp, and some (myself included) preferred Clarissa’s method from above. Our favorite brand in Lucban is Abcede’s (not related whatsoever to the owner) and unfortunately, even here in Lucena and Lucban, the taste differ a lot between brands, so I guess you might not have the best lucban longganisa available.

    The one at Buddy’s in Market Market and Makati are the next best thing though.

    Apr 15, 2013 | 11:38 pm

  15. natie says:

    My 1 cent input:

    Wikipedia…. “In economics, diminishing returns (also called diminishing marginal returns) is the decrease in the marginal (per-unit) output of a production process as the amount of a single factor of production is increased, while the amounts of all other factors of production stay constant.

    The law of diminishing returns (also law of diminishing marginal returns or law of increasing relative cost) states that in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant (“ceteris paribus”), will at some point yield lower per-unit returns.[1] The law of diminishing returns does not imply that adding more of a factor will decrease the total production, a condition known as negative returns, though in fact this is common.”

    Apr 16, 2013 | 1:15 am

  16. EbbaBlue says:

    We used to have a meat stall in Guadalupe market, and I myself makes home made longganisa (by hand). The special ones are chopped not grinded, and we uses ground achuete for coloring, plus the paprika. The ratio of fat is 30% to 70% laman. We also uses fresh bituka (which paupahan ang paglilinis kasi ayaw kong gawin ito). Laging ubos ang longganisa namin, and for special order – sometimes we makes it more spicier, but other than that, laging the same ang flavoring namin. For preservative, my sister adds salitre, but because laging ubos the same day – minsan hindi na namin nilalagyan.

    If I can only find already clean bituka – I think I can make my own longganisa again, specialy Ms. BettyQ nicely gave me a sausage stuffer gadget last Christmas (Thanks Ms. BettyQ). Its time magamit ko na yon.

    Sometimes rin pala may nag-oorder sa amin ng beef langgonisa. Try ko kaya chicken.

    Apr 16, 2013 | 1:57 am

  17. jules winnfield says:

    i love tuguegarao longganisa. i am the relative the family avoids telling that they are going on a trip back home. i normally ask them to buy me as much as 10 kilos. the most anyone’s ever brought me is 7. i calculate family love based on the weight of tuguegarao longganisa they are willing to carry back to manila for me. ü

    my kids like their tuguegarao longganisa served ‘ala cubana’ –minus the banana. it’s the only breakfast meal where i allow them to have more than 1 sunny side up egg. their fried rice is smothered in the oil where the longganisas were cooked. i have mine fried to a crisp with the meat still moist inside. once in a while, there will be a casualty or two where the longganisas crack open and makes it crispy in and out. but that’s still fine with me.

    mm, the ones i buy have strings on the end. and i also have my longganisas bought from the same lady. i don’t know her name but there are lots who make them, and have their own variations on the marinade. two things will be constant though. garlic and orange (color not fruit).

    Apr 16, 2013 | 8:41 am

  18. pinkytab says:

    Just last week, at Spanish restaurant by the France-Spain border, we ordered longaniza and chorizo sandwiches. Both were long and thin but the chorizo was reddish while the longaniza was paler in color (just like what Footloose said). The chorizo was spicier and a bit salty, a bit similar in taste to the Marca el Rey chorizo de Bilbao, while the longaniza was a tad sweet.

    Apr 16, 2013 | 9:46 am

  19. rose says:

    i love longganisa…….. i miss the cabanatuan longganisa. i just moved to vancouver, so far i am not satisfied with the ones i tasted.
    anyone willing to share her/his recipes. i Highly appreciate it . TIA

    Apr 16, 2013 | 10:08 am

  20. dave b says:

    we were served longganiza at fort ilocandia, and it was how i preferred it–garlicky, and best dipped in iloko vinegar

    Apr 16, 2013 | 11:18 am

  21. dec_girl says:

    my husband and i love the longganisa from tuguegarao eaten with fried rice and fried egg, super yummy!

    Apr 16, 2013 | 9:18 pm

  22. germac says:

    I used to make Lucban Lonnganisa for my Mom, Toyang . Taste and size of LONG-ganisa ( SHORT-ganisa now ) is quite differernt from the 7O’s. I still keep the old formula with me.
    Lots of garlic, ground pepper ,salt , oregano (epasote),MSG and real Pimenton in a can from Spain.Casing is from dried intestine of pigs and dried outside to avoid burtsing while frying.To me this is the real deal

    Apr 16, 2013 | 9:47 pm

  23. Jenny says:

    Just got a batch of tugegarao longganisa yesterday. Love the way it was prepared by boiling them in water until it evaporates, fats melting, frying up these bad boys. Garlicky, taste of vinegar and peppery. Really divine!

    Apr 17, 2013 | 9:22 am

  24. Peach says:

    Alaminos longganisa is my all-time favorite. I hardly go home to Pangasinan anymore but I get my stash from Shell Select in Magallanes. It’s almost like the real thing, but not as tasty because it’s leaner. I guess that’s a good thing.

    Apr 17, 2013 | 10:59 am

  25. Belgin says:

    I tasted Lucban longganisa few years back during my vacation in Manila…… I felt in love on the first bite and from that experience I wanted having it on breakfast almost everyday for a week….. I want to try making it but I’m wondering if it can be done as skinless ….. will it be doable?

    Apr 17, 2013 | 12:37 pm

  26. Danney says:

    Two weeks ago, we had an excursion sa Kamay na Hesus and we bought their longganisas and once we were home, we cook them and indeed matigas, maanggo o maamoy, at ang pinagmantikaan puro red coloring. Kahit pinakuluan na sa tubig, matigas pa rin ang meat. Iyong natirang naluto na e matigas pa rin at maanggo kahit na reheat na. We bought different longganisas one dozen in front of the church, one dozen near plaza and one dozen isa pang tindahan sa bayan. They need to improve their recipe. Unbelievable and not recommendable !!

    There are these stalls in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, one in Paseo de Sta Rosa and one downtown market near Sta Rosa Municipal Hall. Very impressive because of their longganisas are plump, garlicky complimented with vinegar and pepper. We always boil our longganisa first before frying it. End result with caramelized garlic and meat. Kahit na iyong mga natirang naluto na at nastored sa fridge and reheated later e plump, tasty and tasty pa rin. Fantastic longganisa.

    Pampanga, Bulacan, Cebu, Ilocano longganisas are amazing. Masarap at malasa. Kahit isang piraso together with rice busog ka na dahil talagang malinamnam. I’m sure there are a lot of longganisas everywhere in the Philippines na masasarap but I hope Lucban longganisa owners will improve their own.

    Did you know that even foreigners are our enjoying our Filipino longganisa? Maraming US citizens are serving Filipino longganisa for breakfast, lunch and diner particularly sa East and West Coast. I went to Spain, Italy and UK and they are eating Filipino longganisa too. This is a great compliment to our country

    Apr 17, 2013 | 9:29 pm

  27. ChrisB says:

    You can cook Tugue longganisa like a confit- submerged in fat- until it’s crisp all the way through. That’s the way I like it :) For maximum enjoyment, dip it in artisanal cane vinegar from Ilocos or Cagayan, not the regular white vinegar. A really tart tomato catsup works for me too.

    Apr 20, 2013 | 11:19 pm

  28. Boopsie says:

    My Top 5 Longanizas

    1. Alaminos, Pangasinan – Savory – Best looking with their built in toothpicks. Fried to a crisp or roasted bbq style. its aroma is mouth watering. The lousiest cooks cannot mess this longganiza up. Always delicious. Best with egg and fried rice cooked from the longganizas lard drippings.

    2. Batac, Ilocos – Savory- This longaniza is huge. it is one continuous tube of meat and has no links. garlicky flavor, has less fat but as a consequence is less tender when cooked. still a very good longaniza.

    3. Tugegarao – Sweet – Made by Ybanag Cooperative. This Longganiza made from Carabao Beef is surprisingly tender and on the sweet side. the only hint of its meat origins is its really dark meat. Ybanag produces a pork variant too but i like the carabeef variant best.

    4 Unimart Grocery- Sweet -My childhood favorite Sweet but balanced with lots of pepper. This longganiza is huge thick and juicy.

    5. Baguio – sweet- There is a longganiza stall in the public market who supplies Baguio Country Club with his delicious breakfast links. Its worth a trip for longaniza lovers.
    Its links are sweet but not overly sweet.

    Apr 21, 2013 | 9:06 am

  29. joyce says:

    Nice post! I am partial to Calumpit longganiza since my maternal side is from there. We usually boil it first for about 30 mins then fry it to a crisp until the skin is bit dark and crunchy. Alaminos longganisa is also good. There seems to be a longganiza trend which is great- Longganiza Sorpresa and Sonsi’s both in the Kapitolyo area.

    Apr 28, 2013 | 12:44 am

  30. Marianne says:

    I tried different longganizas especially the popular ones like the Lucban longganiza and of course the Vigan Longganiza. I am a big fan of the garlicky-tangy type of sausage but when I went to my friend’s house for breakfast, they served the calumpit longganiza and from that moment it started my love for their local longganiza. For me, it is the perfffeccct longganiza I have ever tasted in my entire life (especially since I grew up eating the vigan longganiza since childhood). It’s not too garlicky or sweet and I guess you should try going to the public market of Calumpit and buy the longganiza there…it’s all worth your trip :)

    love your blog!

    Jun 30, 2013 | 3:03 am

  31. Cabanatuan Longanisa says:

    Kudos to the writer. If I may introduce our product:

    To anyone who’s craving for a Cabanatuan longanisa, we bring to Manila the real thing straight from our aunt’s kitchen. Please check our page for details.


    Aug 21, 2013 | 1:22 pm

  32. Joan says:

    I have been craving Tuguegarao longganisa the whole week and I can’t find any here in Manila! (At least not in the grocery stores). Is there any place in Manila — QC area exactly — where they sell the real thing? I’ve come across a recipe online and I’d be willing to make my own but I’m sure there’s an easier way and I can just buy some. Any help appreciated! Thanks!

    Nov 10, 2013 | 8:13 pm

  33. Onio says:

    I miss the longganisa of my younger years, cubed/cut up and not grounded too fine.. Where one can bite into small fat cubes or lean meat..

    Wala na ako makita ganun ngayon.. Still searching

    Jan 5, 2014 | 8:23 pm

  34. The Chairman says:

    Please try to visit Republic of longaganisa located at Festival Mall Alabang
    many more choices are waiting for you…

    Jan 21, 2014 | 11:25 am

  35. The Chairman says:

    Republic Longganisa sell:
    Calumpit Garlic
    Calumpit Hamonado
    Calumpit Sweet & Spicy
    Cebu Hamonado/Garlic
    Tadtad Longganisa
    Bacon (Smoked)
    Glazed Ham

    Jan 21, 2014 | 12:11 pm

  36. Jocel says:

    I love the Tuguegarao longganisa. the longganisa of Aling Cora is delicious She has stall at Don Dominggo public market. If you can’t find her there just ask the tricycle drivers where her house is. There, you can buy freshly made longganisa by the boxes. Tastiest longganisa ever. Vigan & Lucban longganisa are tasty too, but Tuguegarao longganisa is perfect.

    Sep 3, 2014 | 8:48 pm

  37. edz says:

    Hello there! Great review. Although I believe the lucban longanisa you purchase is definitely not an original recipe. I am from Quezon and I am 100% sure Longanisang Lucban is not sweet and it doesn’t have sugar in it. Second, the red color is not from food coloring but from atsuete and the reason it is dry is because these longanisa are hanged and dried for several days prior to selling. It is available in two sizes (small and large), perahps the one you bought was the small ones; the large ones are juicier. I love longanisang lucban, although I am not also a fan of its red coloring. Vigan longanisa is also good. Haven’t tried Tuguegarao’s though.

    Nov 11, 2014 | 5:26 pm


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