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Great chorizo in Peninsula/South Bay?

manjar May 5, 2009 07:25 AM

We used to by *exceptional* chorizo from a stall at the Berryessa flea market, however it has not been available for the last couple of years. Does anyone know where to buy really good Mexican chorizo (i.e. to use as an ingredient)?

What distinguished the flea market chorizo from the stuff that comes in a tube at the supermarket was a better texture, more sophisticated use of spices, and what seems like overall a better level of ingredients (especially the meat/fat that is used).

I've tried a few different carnecerias in area, but so far nothing that has been better than the mass-produced stuff. I've seen recipes to make my own, and will probably do some of that as well, but I'd like to have an outside source for convenience. Any advice would be appreciated!

  1. Shane Greenwood May 5, 2009 08:18 AM

    Neto Sausage in Santa Clara has the good stuff.

    Neto Sausage Co
    3499 The Alameda, Santa Clara, CA 95050

    1. Shane Greenwood May 5, 2009 08:22 AM

      One to try on the Peninsula is the Chavez market at El Camino & 5th in RWC. That is the best Mexican market I've found in this area. They have a full butcher counter and a fantastic selection of Mexican products and produce. Might be the cleanliest grocery store in the area too. Also, try the in-store tacqeria.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Shane Greenwood
        Shane Greenwood May 5, 2009 08:24 AM


        Chavez Supermarket & Taqueria
        46 5th Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063

        1. re: Shane Greenwood
          Alan408 May 5, 2009 09:38 AM

          Chavez has a store in Sunnyvale, on Fair Oaks, a few blocks off 101.

          To me, Neto is Portuguese.

          1. re: Alan408
            Shane Greenwood May 5, 2009 11:49 AM

            Neto has a few varieties including Mexican, Spanish and Portuguese. The Portuguese sausage is smoked, the Mexican isn't. Here's a link to their site detailing the different varieties they offer.


            1. re: Shane Greenwood
              Alan408 May 5, 2009 05:23 PM

              I used to work with a guy who was adopted, as an adult (and co-worker) he learned of his nationally, Portguese. Over a dozen times he brought food from either Neto's or Souza's. That is why I thought Portguese.

              From Neto's, linguisa sandwich (no casing, grilled)
              From Souza's, loaf of bread, reminds me of King's Hawiian Bread.

              Thanks for the link to Neto's, I will give them a try and report back.

              1. re: Shane Greenwood
                Melanie Wong May 5, 2009 05:50 PM

                Wanted to mention that I have a friend keeping an eye on Neto's new space under construction near Hatcho in Santa Clara. Not sure if this will be an expansion to a second location or a move from the current address.

          2. bbulkow May 5, 2009 09:22 AM

            I'm not sure what you're using "at the supermarket", but I really like the fresh stuff at Mi Rancho on Willow in MP compared to any pre-pack. They do their own grinding on-site. Tucked away close-by is Mi Hacienda, which generally has higher quality of everything, but I haven't tried their chorizo. As Shane says, I'd certainly try the Chavez at 5th Ave in RC.

            9 Replies
            1. re: bbulkow
              Mission May 5, 2009 10:41 AM

              Is Chorizo always made of Cow lips, lymph nodes,snout,intestines and salivary glands?

              Do they ever make it out of less exotic cuts?

              1. re: Mission
                Shane Greenwood May 5, 2009 11:50 AM

                Chorizo has fat and spices too.

                1. re: Mission
                  pastryqueen May 5, 2009 12:14 PM

                  those ingredients you listed are what is put in the commercial chorizo you buy in the plastic packages. . .usually it's made with pork butt with added back fat and spices. Homemade chorizo is one of the easiest ones to make - once you've made it at home, it's nearly impossible to go back to store bought.

                  That being said, in a pinch, I like the chorizo available at the meat case at Mi Pueblo on High Street. I can't vouch for the true filler ingredients but I was told it was mainly pork butt.

                  Mi Pueblo Food Center
                  1630 High St, Oakland, CA 94601

                  1. re: pastryqueen
                    rcspott May 5, 2009 02:18 PM


                    would you have a favorite recipe that you mind sharing

                    1. re: rcspott
                      pastryqueen May 5, 2009 03:58 PM

                      Yes, I do have one. It's a large, restaurant sized recipe. . let me scale it down some for home use and I will post it in the recipe section. :)

                      1. re: pastryqueen
                        rcspott May 6, 2009 04:48 PM

                        Thanks, please let us know when you post

                  2. re: Mission
                    Hoss May 6, 2009 01:25 PM

                    I am not vegatarian and I love and eat chorizo, but I also like Soyrizo, which you can buy at Safeway. For eggs chorizo, I think it works well.

                    1. re: Mission
                      bbulkow May 6, 2009 01:31 PM

                      I would suspect that these local markets aren't using those ingredients, simply because they aren't slaughtering from cow and don't have the left-overs on hand. For example, when they make hamburger, they take actual large hunks of meat and grind them. But I haven't asked about the chorizo.

                      One item to notice: apparently there's a mexican thing of building a little wood shingle roof over your chorizo. The markets that specialize and make their own have a little roof over their hanging chorizo. I have no idea why, although it looks cute and evokes pastoral scenes.

                      1. re: Mission
                        Zeldog Jun 26, 2009 06:53 PM

                        Chorizo recipes vary from country to country and even regions within countries. Some are made fresh, some are dried, but it's usually made exclusively from pork parts, not cows. That stuff made with salivary glands may be authentically mexican, but the only place I've seen it is in US supermarkets. Some latino markets in the Mission sell chorizo and longaniza, always made with pork meat (not organs). I can't stand the supermarket stuff, not because it's mostly salivary glands, but because it's about 50% fat and remains disgustingly greasy no matter how you cook it.

                    2. m
                      manjar May 6, 2009 09:14 AM

                      Awesome - thanks for all the great tips. I'll make the rounds, and report back with any findings.

                      1. m
                        manjar Jun 25, 2009 03:50 PM

                        So I did pick up some chorizo from Neto. Unlike some of their sausage products which are sold fresh from their refrigerator case, the chorizo was pre-packaged. It would say it was above-average quality, with good flavor and seemingly made of a reasonable grade of meat (definitely seemed to be made of better ingredients that the stuff available at supermarkets). Also, it was somewhat on the lean side, i.e. not as greasy as most commercial chorizo. However, the flavor was not as outstanding as the chorizo I used to get at the flea market.

                        I think my next step will be to try a few homemade recipes and see which one I like best.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Zeldog
                          RWCFoodie Jun 27, 2009 05:06 AM

                          Zeldog: isn't that a great website! I made the Thai Chiang Mai and we liked it very much. Great fun making sausage... he really has a bunch of different chorizo recipes; will have to try some.

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