Chistorra is made by almost every butcher in Navarre, where the climate is ideal for natural drying without the need for smoking. It is a thin-skinned sausage with a short curing period
of between 1 and 25 days, is produced in either a straight or horseshoe shape, and can be eaten either fried or stewed.
Made from lean pork, belly pork and pork fat and seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and sugars, it is red in colour with a clear distinction between the lean and fat on cutting. Artisan txistorras contain no preservatives and thus need to be kept at a temperature of between 0 and 6º and eaten as soon as possible.
They are often lightly fried with a drop of virgin olive oil in a very hot pan so they are not overdone, then served in a roll or on puff-pastry.
The peak time for eating chistorra is on St. Thomas's Day
, on the day of the fair on 21st December, and on the days leading up to Christmas, although it can be found as a tapa in bars throughout the region all year round