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Jan 18, 2012 11:22 AM

Gourmet Chicharrones

The 4505 chicharrones ( ) are without a doubt the tastiest I've ever eaten, except for one problem: my extremely sensitive palate can't handle the spice (I know, it's pretty mild as far as spices are concerned, but it's still too much for me).

Can anyone recommend a good gourmet alternative in the East Bay (I live in Berkeley)? I know I can find chicharrones at Mexican markets, but I'm looking for light, fluffy ones from high-quality, pasture-raised pigs. Marin Sun Farms used to make them but no longer does. The Local Butcher in Berkeley makes them, but they're hard—like pita chips—which I don't like. Any suggestions?

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    1. I've never had chicharrones similar to Ryan Farr's made by anyone else. He spent a lot of time perfecting his recipe and keeps certain aspects secret. You might ask him to make a custom chile-free batch.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Already emailed Ryan. Great minds think alike :)

    2. Not quite within the area, but I think i remember that the chicharrones at el Salchichero in Santa Cruz are not quite as spicy as 4505 -- they might ship? Also, like the crazy beef ones at Plum Bar -- not spicy if you don't dip in the hot sauce. Although very salty.

      2 Replies
        1. re: The Dive

          El Salchichero said they don't ship currently, but they're creating an online store, and once they do, they'll ship.

          As for Plum Bar, I'm tempted, but I don't like super-salty, so I think I'll pass.

          Thanks again for your help.

        2. Sorry, its a little off topic, but if I were to go to the Ferry Building on saturday around 10, would it be a problem to get these chicharrones? The web site has an option to pre order a bag, but I don't know what time I'll wake up. Would it be safe to just assume they would be available or do these things sell out quick?

          4 Replies
          1. re: theFuj46

            If you mean 4505 you should be able to get them there without rushing. Other places that usually carry them: Bloodhound, Fatted Calf in SF; Acme Bar, Pasta Shop in Berkeley/Oakland.

              1. re: theFuj46

                Bi-Rite in SF; Avedano's in SF as well. I am addicted.