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Where can I find Kurobuta Chops in the Bay Area?

vanity021 Apr 22, 2007 12:53 AM

I am dying to try these pork chops or anything that is remotely close to it. I am willing to go to SF, South Bay or East Bay to purchase it.


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  1. little big al RE: vanity021 Apr 22, 2007 05:36 AM

    It's my understanding that "kurobuta" is Japanese for "Berkshire". T.J.'s used to carry it,but no more. Best bet is Range Bros. (nee Prather Ranch) at FPFM. They sell several varieties of heirloom pig,all a bit dear, but the best pork I've ever eaten.

    1 Reply
    1. re: little big al
      uchinanchu RE: little big al Apr 22, 2007 06:39 AM

      kurobuta is not japanese for berkshire. much like kobe is a type of wagyu beef, kurobuta is a type of berkshire pork.

      from: http://www.vicsmeat.com.au/page/signa...

      "All Kurobuta pork is Berkshire but not all Berkshire can produce Kurobuta pork.

      The Berkshire breed is well documented as having superior meat quality when compared to other commercial pig breeds but Kurobuta pork is one step higher as the 'best of the best'.

      Japanese scientists have studied the genetic makeup of Berkshire pigs and have developed gene technology that allows the Berkshire breed to be further divided into 4 genetic sub-types: North Island, South Island, Western and Oriental types.

      The Oriental type is the basis for successful Kurobuta production. The fat composition is soft, white and flavourful and the meat has a fine, rich texture that is tender and juicy. Many people describe Kurobuta as the Kobe Beef of pork production."

    2. Carrie 218 RE: vanity021 Apr 22, 2007 06:37 AM

      You want to cook them yourself of have them already prepared? I'm unsure where to get the raw product, but I have eaten them at Ame.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218
        Wendy_san RE: Carrie 218 Apr 22, 2007 07:35 AM

        For the raw product you can get it at Niji-ya Japanese markets, which have locations in Mountain View, San Jose, San Mateo, and San Francisco. Also available at Suruki in San Mateo (Fourth Avenue) and probably in general at other Japanese markets.


        1. re: Wendy_san
          rabaja RE: Wendy_san Apr 22, 2007 12:02 PM

          I've gotten it at Nijiya market in SF and been very pleased with the cut. Got a boneless piece and braised it. It was heavenly.
          Last time I was there, they had chops, no boneless pieces, so be warned the selection varies. They are accomodating though, try asking if you don't see what you want.

      2. Robert Lauriston RE: vanity021 Apr 22, 2007 07:54 AM

        I bought something labeled kurobuta at Trader Joe's. Good but not nearly as good as the heirloom pork I've bought from Fatted Calf. Most of their pigs are Berkshires from a small farm in the Ozarks.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Paul H RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 22, 2007 10:30 AM

          I haven't done much comparing with the Fatted Calf pork, but I agree that their smoked pork chops are top notch, and perhaps even a notch above that!

          1. re: Paul H
            Robert Lauriston RE: Paul H Apr 22, 2007 03:35 PM

            A Fatted Calf pork rib roast I had recently was the best pork I've ever had, so far as I can remember, and that's not the sort of thing I usually forget.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              grishnackh RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 22, 2007 06:44 PM

              I believe that Fatted Calf receives purchases their pork from Heritage Foods suppliers. Heritage Foods also offers some mail order options for the home consumer. Their pork offerings include both fresh and cured cuts as well as butchered quarter hogs.

              Check them out online at http://www.heritagefoodsusa.com/

              1. re: grishnackh
                Robert Lauriston RE: grishnackh Apr 23, 2007 11:17 AM

                I've found Heritage Foods wildly expensive compared with local specialty retailers.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  grishnackh RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 23, 2007 12:03 PM

                  Their prices are high, but they do include express shipping to your door, and you don't have to pay sales tax as a CA resident.

                  Here's a General Chowhounding topic I made yesterday about my experiences with a Heritage Foods cured ham: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/394393

                  1. re: grishnackh
                    Ruth Lafler RE: grishnackh Aug 3, 2007 05:03 PM

                    You don't have to pay sales tax on unprepared food in California, period.

        2. K K RE: vanity021 Apr 22, 2007 08:14 PM

          The kuro in kurobuta means black (pork). Try your local Korean supermarket, meat section (they typically have black pork belly sliced which is great for all sorts of things).

          1. j
            Jeff RE: vanity021 Apr 23, 2007 11:20 AM

            Second the rec for Prather Ranch. As for restaurants, Bacar and Boulevard both do wonderful things with pork chops, although I believe Boulevard uses Bershire.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jeff
              Robert Lauriston RE: Jeff Apr 23, 2007 12:08 PM

              Have you been to Bacar since the big shakeup?

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                Jeff RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 23, 2007 01:50 PM

                I have not.

            2. m
              mrsricho RE: vanity021 Apr 23, 2007 08:02 PM

              Had a bite of my husband's at Ame last night and I think it was the best pork I've ever had in my life! If you go for the Kurobuta - also give the sweetbreads a try, they were fabulous!

              2 Replies
              1. re: mrsricho
                vanity021 RE: mrsricho Apr 23, 2007 09:35 PM

                How was the pork chop seasoned?

                1. re: vanity021
                  mrsricho RE: vanity021 Apr 24, 2007 12:00 PM

                  I'll ask my husband if he remembers the waiter's more detailed explanation but here is the listing from their menu if that helps - Grilled Kurobuta Pork Chop with Macaroni and Cheese, Bloomsdale Spinach and Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce, 34.

                  fyi - the macaroni and cheese was pure heaven - three kinds of cheese and truffle oil - incredible!

              2. foodiegrl RE: vanity021 Apr 24, 2007 12:34 PM

                I had it at the Cafe Majestic last week, and it was divine - braised & served with grilled green onions and a mustard spaetzle. Meaty, tender & savory-sweet with the cider sauce. Reasonably-priced, too. I think the entree was less than $20.

                1. e
                  exboonie RE: vanity021 Apr 24, 2007 07:20 PM

                  Antonelli's in the Cal Mart in SF's Laurel village periodically carries the chops.

                  1. w
                    WindDancerRanch RE: vanity021 Aug 3, 2007 04:04 PM

                    A growing number of small, sustainable farmers are raising Berkshires and heritage breeds of hogs for sale direct to consumers. If you like the meat and have some freezer space (not too much actually) you can get naturally raised, free range Berkshire and heritage hogs for less than you would pay for commercial pork at upscale grocers.

                    Check out buying your meat direct - sites like localharvest.org have listings that will help you find farmers. They are closer than you think!

                    1. Ruth Lafler RE: vanity021 Aug 3, 2007 05:09 PM

                      Baron's Meats in Alameda and Berkeley has been carrying varying cuts of Kurobata pork. He's even been making his sausages out of it!

                      1. g
                        Gremolata RE: vanity021 Aug 3, 2007 05:10 PM

                        More and more often, Cafe Rouge in Berkeley has been carrying Berkshire pork at their meat counter. They've also occasionally had other heirloom varieties (Red Wattle, maybe?). Good stuff.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Gremolata
                          Robert Lauriston RE: Gremolata Aug 5, 2007 11:18 AM

                          We had Berkshire pork chops from Rouge for dinner last night. Great stuff. I'd order ahead and ask them not to trim so much fat.

                        2. n
                          naparover RE: vanity021 Aug 5, 2007 10:52 AM

                          If all else fails locally, Lobels online has them. Ive ordered a few times...definately quite expensive, but they really are quite spectacular; We did a side by side test against Neiman chops, and there was no comparison - not that one was 'better' they are just quite different in both taste and texture. Most preferred the Lobels Kurobata - blind tested.

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