If there's one thing we love in Milwaukee, it's sausage [insert gay joke here]. Given that Milwaukee was built on the backs of immigrants from some of the finer sausage-producing nations on Earth, we embrace just about any variety of meat, animal fat, herbs and spices packed into a natural or synthetic casing. If you are in the city limits, you're probably within spitting distance of a place that will sell you a bratwurst, an Italian or a Polish. Lately, due in large part to its addition to the Klement Sausage Race at Miller Park, chorizo has been making it's mark.
[By the way, I adore the sausage race at Miller Park, but I think it's getting dangerously close to "jumping the shark." The first incarnation of the sausage race took place on the County Stadium score board. It was a black and white video of three sausages (brat, Italian and Polish) running in place with the background changing to different Milwaukee landmarks while the theme from Chariots of Fire played. Obviously it was awesome. When I was a junior or senior in high school, they had live "actors" don sausage costumes, and as the scoreboard sausages neared the background shot of County Stadium, the "live" sausages would run out onto the field and cross home plate. This version of the race, like the full-cartoon one, was rigged. The "actors" would pump their arms wildly and appear to veer off course due to the awkwardness of the sausage suits and stuff, but nobody was actually trying to win. Again, this incarnation was awesome. By the time Miller Park was built, the scoreboard sausage race had been completely replaced by the costumed "actors." The hot dog was added to make four. The people in the suits actually started "running," seemingly with the intention of winning. This is not nearly as entertaining as it was when it was rigged, but still awesome. This year, the chorizo was added to make five, an excellent addition. Any way you slice it, five guys dressed up like sausages in borderline-racist, ethnic-stereotype outfits having a foot race in a baseball stadium is a fantastic idea. But here's where it starts to get a little lame. Now, according to an intensely annoying Klements commercial, the racing sausages have "names." Retarded names at that. The Italian sausage is named "Guido" and the Polish sausage is named "Stosh." Okay so far. I like that they're sticking with the borderline-racist ethnic-stereotype theme. It works, and it's really what the sausage race is all about. Sticking with that theme, the Brat should be named "Gunter," the Chorizo should be named "Jose," and the hot dog should be named "Jimmy." That would be great. Those names would adhere to a consistent personified sausage-naming theme. But noooo. The brat's actual, offical name is "Brett Wurst" and the hot dog's name is "Frankie Furter." What the fuck is that? Is that clever or something? But the worst one is the poor chorizo. His name is "Cinco," which I'm pretty sure is just Spanish for "five." Do the Klement's people only know the Spanish words for the numbers one through five and that's it? I don't get it at all? It's worse than (although remarkably similar to) the naming mechanism for the different sizes of Starbucks drinks. Terrible. Just terrible. Wow, that was a long digression.]
Chorizo is a Mexican (I suppose it was originally Spanish or Portuguese or something) pork sausage with chili-type spices in it. It's red in color and it's delicious. I'm not what you would call "cultured," but I was under the impression that the traditional method for eating chorizo was to sort of scramble it up or cut it up and, like, mix it with eggs or put it in a taco or something. I'm probably wrong about that. But what I do know it that the traditional method for serving chorizo is not to put it on a hot dog bun and top it with ketchup and onions and serve with potato[e] chips and a diet Coke. Yet this is what I got for lunch from the hot dog cart guy on the corner of Wisconsin Ave. & Water St. today. And it was outstanding. America is indeed a melting pot.