From Eating Asturias, the Encyclopedia of Asturian Gastronomy
Chorizo, Morcilla and Panceta, the three most common ingredients in a compango

It is impossible to talk about Asturian food without talking about fabada. The classic stew is the touchstone of the cuisine here in Asturias. Everyone in Spain, not to mention a good number of people outside Spain, know and love fabada. And it is impossible to talk about fabada without talking about compango.

From the vulgar Latin companĭcus, “things that go with bread” it has come to mean “things that go in fabada“. And while it is common in other stews in Asturias, and in other dishes as well, it is most famous as the sacramentos that go with beans.

What is Compango?

The Compango Asturiano quality mark from ASINCAR.

Compango is a selection of (at least) three different meats; two sausages; morcilla and chorizo, and some smoked pork belly. Traditionally, it contains four: morcilla, chorizo, lacón and tocino. Let’s look at each individually, and see what you can use as substitutes in the States if you are making a fabada at home.


Chorizo asturiano is an uncured sausage, and is smoked, usually over oak. The very best kinds in Asturias bear a serious resemblance to the kind of smoked sausage you get in really good diners in the States. You can easily substitute any of the major brand “Chorizo. Smoked sausage” types you find in the average grocery store. To order authentic chorizo asturiano, check my Asturian Food Suppliers page.


Morcilla is a blood sausage, made in Asturias from pig’s blood, ground meat, onions, and paprika. Relatively easy to find, particularly if you live near a Mexican carnicería, as the Mexican moronga is interchangeable. If not, I highly recommend the DESPAÑA brand. Both because it is immensely cheaper than places that mark up Spanish products 1000% and pretend it’s because of import fees, and because the recipe they use is a traditional Asturian one.


Lacón is smoked pork shoulder. It’s as simple as that. Always air cured, always smoked, sometimes heavily salted, like country hams in the south-eastern United States. This should be a breeze for anyone to get a hold of in the States.

Tocino / Panceta

Bacon! Tocino in Asturias is smoked, like American bacon, not just cured like Italian pancetta. The only trick is that you really should have a big thick piece, so you may want to hunt down some slab bacon for the authenticity.

Uses of Compango

Compango being fried in a cast-iron skillet

The most famous use of compango is, of course, in fabada. However, it is an indispensable part of Asturian cooking, and the longer I live here, the more uses I find for it.

You can slice it and fry it to put on top of your fariñes (grits), toss it into your lentils (or any other beans) instead of a ham hock, or grill it up and serve it with some bread as a parillada (cookout).


The following recipes are available using Compango: