Good Selection of Dried Chiles in Oaktown?
I'm looking for a nearby place where I can find a good selection of dried chiles. Albertson's on 18th and Lakieshore probably has some in packets, but I'm sure there's a better source nearby.
I tried looking in the Chowhound Guide - no luck.
I made a delicious butternut squash soup: peeled, de-seeded, and cut the squash into big chunks; roasted these for about half an hour at 350°; simmered in a couple of quarts of homemade brown chicken stock along with one whole smoked chipotle. When the squash was really soft I removed the chipotle, pureed everything else in the food mill, salted and served. A splash of Crema Mexicana would have been nice but I didn't have any to hand--next time, though.
Super fantastic selection of dried peppers at the Mexican Meat Market at 34th and Foothill.(on the hill side of Foothill)
Great fresh meat too!
Especially if you want some skirt steak, or more exotic Mexican cuts.
Hundreds of bottled spices and sauces that you won't find at other markets.
No habla english
Mini taco truck next door is weak.
Now if you were in Richmond, I could tell you exactly. Have you stopped in any of the Mexican markets, if any, in your area. Most of them have at a minimum, six or seven varieties of dried peppers. Usually they are located in bins under the produce counters and run about $3.99 a pound.
The most common you will see are Anaheim Chiles, chile California, chile de arbol, pastilla, cascabel, negro and Japanese, IIRC. When I was doing my Mexican market crawl in Richmond I was taking notes (that I can't find) about what each market was selling. Pretty much the same peppers everywhere. Actually Albertson's and Raley's had a few most Mexican stores don't carry.
Some of them go under different Spanish names, but they are the same varieties. Here's a great guide for althernate names and pictures that I used looking into dried peppers.
Heading up International Avenue, if no one gives you a specific market, then try stepping into a few of them.
For dried peppers outside of the usual La Borinquena in Old Oakland has the most unusual selection that I've seen in the east bay. There's not a lot but you can get oddball stuff like Chipotle flakes (recommended), Habenero flakes, Green New Mexican Chile powder. I wouldn't go there for the run of the mill peppers, but out of the norm. Here's one of their websites:
The freshest and best quality dried peppers are unfortunately those upscale peppers from Mi Tierra. I'm not sure if Rancho Gordo at Ferry Plaza sells any dried peppers.
If you can't find them in the East Bay, check out what's available from Tierra Vegetables
who have a stand at the Saturday Ferry Building market in SF. Excellent products--the pre-mixed Harissa rub is terrific on lamb, and I used a smoked chipotle in a squash soup the other night that was really nice.