Finding Caul Fat In Los Angeles
Saturday seems like the first hint of Fall. I was thinking of soon making boudin blanc with aligot. However, I need some caul fat to encase the boudin.
Sounds great. I've ordered hard-to-find items like that from Gelsinger’s Meats in Montrose, 818-248-7811. I was disappointed Surfa's in Culver City doesn't have it but, speaking of fat, one thing they do carry which is hard to find is leaf lard from which to render the best lard to cook with.
re: Professor Salt
I'm the one who got the Surfas buyer to go after leaf lard. Thanks to a Prof. Salt tip, I found it (frozen) at Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad, which also had frozen caul fat on my last visit. Be sure to call before going all the way down there, because they didn't have much of either. During that quest, I also found caul fat at Alexander's Prime Meats in San Gabriel.
You don't know how thrilled I am that you found Caul Fat in 99 Ranch. Can you tell me what the label says - I have gone from Bristol Farm, Pavillion, El Toro Meat market, Santa Ana mexican butcher. So it would be priceless if I can find it at 99 Ranch. My mother who speaks Chinese ask the butcher at 99 Ranch and he was clueless. But very rarely are they helpfull at 99 Ranch even for us Asian ;-) that speaks the language, that is why sometime I try to help out those that seems lost in 99.
I've also found caul fat at the 99 Ranch in San Gabriel (the big one in the Focus Plaza between New and Del Mar). As Sauce Supreme says about the 99 Ranch in the Van Nuys, the butchers won't know about it -- you have to look in the freezer case next to the produce section, near where the frozen exocitc meats are.
Bristol Farms on Fair Oaks in Pasadena.
They have it for sure because they supply it to Le Cordon Bleu students.
I have been looking for Caul Fat or Leaf Lard for over a year in Orange County, CA (I have even expanded it to LA County).
From the many posting I see recommendation going to Ethnic market:
Mexican/Latin market and look for Velo or Crepineta - I have had no luck, but it was interesting seeing what they do have. Worth a visit if you are into cooking and trying new things as was commented by some of reply in this string.
Chinese market (99 Ranch Market) - I had no luck with the one in the Valley and all of the one in OC. My mother who speaks Mandarin (Chinese) even told them that it was called Wang Yu. The younger guys normally don't understand but the older butcher working behind the meat counter usually do. Their recommendation is to use Tofu Skin - not quite the same. It is like comparing Gelato and Sherbet.
Recommendation also included going to Specialty Store/Butcher shop:
I have tried a few places people have recommended but as some of the posters said it is hit and miss.
It seems that the only reliable source is to order it on line:
Niman Ranch (http://www.nimanranch.com/control/pro...)
But I wanted to buy it locally - so finally I saw the posting by Mermy that you can have it at the Bristol Farm in South Pasadena. I called them (626) 441-5450 and did confirm that they have it there in the Frozen section. But when I checked the closest Bristol farm rather than having to drive 65miles+ (With gas at $4/Gal) they initially said that they do not carry it and even if they had it in South Pasadena that they can not get it.
So I dropped an E-Mail to their corporate office and attached is their response -
"Good Morning my name is Pete Davis and I am the Meat Director for Bristol Farms. Yes, Caul Fat is available and we will bring it in for you. It is a special order item and comes is large quantities but you may order what ever you need. I apologize for any misunderstanding you may have had at the Meat Counter, it is such a specialized item that some of the younger guys really don't know what it is. I spoke with Rich Swanstrom the Assistant Meat Manager at our Newport Beach Store and if you will ask for him he will take care of everything. The order could take 2-4 days. "
So there is hope ! I will drop by tonight and will let you know what happen
I am already salivating on the thought of all the old world Chinese (Fukienese) cooking my mother promised she will cook and teach me how to make once I get this. Forget the upcoming annual physical check up!