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Where can I buy authentic Spanish chorizo please?

SuzyOmnivore Apr 10, 2012 03:36 PM

Hi - I've just moved to the Bay Area after living in Europe for the last 14 years and I would like to find a Spanish foods purveyor. I've tried looking but most Spanish foods stores are actually Latin food stores (maybe because I'm looking on the Peninsula?). I'm looking for things like jamon iberico, chorizo, and the other cured meats of Spain. I've tried Mexican chorizo but it's completely different! All suggestions much appreciated. Thank you.

  1. c
    charliemyboy Apr 10, 2012 04:03 PM

    The Spanish Table on San Pablo in Berkeley has a great selection of Spanish food items. I don't know about chorizo specifically but I got some great blood sausage there. Unfortunately they're not convenient to the Peninsula (which is also my home base).

    1 Reply
    1. re: charliemyboy
      Robert Lauriston Apr 10, 2012 04:18 PM

      Spanish Table has great chorizo. Usually they have one or two from Spain, which I like better than the La Española / Dona Juana brand from L.A., though that's decent stuff.

      You might give Draeger's a call.

    2. wolfe Apr 10, 2012 04:25 PM

      Here's a link.

      1. Melanie Wong Apr 10, 2012 04:47 PM

        Have you tried Rock of Gibraltar, next to and affiliated with Iberia Restaurant in Menlo Park?

        It's been a few months since I visited La Catalana in San Jose/border with Milpitas. At the time in addition to the restaurant and wine bar, it was also selling some packaged foodstuffs. There was a jamon iberico in a holder on the counter for fresh slices.

        Edited to add: A better website link for Rock of Gibraltar,

        1 Reply
        1. re: Melanie Wong
          Melanie Wong Apr 10, 2012 05:00 PM

          Also La Espanola in Harbor City (LA) that Robert mentioned above will ship in retail quantities and carries the main brands of meats imported from Spain as well as its own domestic products. Depending on what you buy, La Espanola's prices are often lower than Spanish Table, enough to cover the shipping from Los Angeles and more.

        2. arktos Apr 10, 2012 05:11 PM

          The Pasta Shop also has some Spanish chorizos,but not as much of a selection compared to the Spanish Table.

          1 Reply
          1. re: arktos
            Robert Lauriston Apr 10, 2012 05:21 PM

            Berkeley Bowl has some La Española stuff, though that's no more convenient to the Peninsula than Spanish Table.

          2. j
            jeffreak Apr 10, 2012 10:00 PM

            I usually get Palacios brand chorizo at Golden Natural Foods or Canyon Market.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jeffreak
              wally Apr 10, 2012 10:43 PM

              That is the brand that the Pasta Shop sells. Fatted Calf makes a respectable Spanish style chorizo. It is like Palacios in some ways. I have never been to Spain so have no direct knowledge.

              1. re: wally
                Dan Wodarcyk Apr 11, 2012 10:00 PM

                Agreed on Fatted Calf's Spanish chorizo.

              2. re: jeffreak
                BernalKC Apr 26, 2012 03:11 PM

                Two flavors of Palacio's are also available at Avadano's

              3. s
                SuzyOmnivore Apr 11, 2012 09:53 AM

                Thank you to everyone. I had tried Draegers but the chorizo is not quite oily or spicy enough. I'll give The Spanish Table a try - it's not so far because I'm actually based in Danville. The Peninsula is where I work so I find that I know that area better. I am slowly learning my way around the neighbourhoods!

                2 Replies
                1. re: SuzyOmnivore
                  Melanie Wong Apr 11, 2012 10:02 AM

                  If you're in Danville, then you should check out Hot Paella in Pleasanton. I've not been there myself, please report back on what you find.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    SuzyOmnivore Apr 11, 2012 12:23 PM

                    Those look fantastic. Thank you so much Melanie. I'll have a wander over to their retail showroom and take a look.

                2. b
                  boris_qd Apr 11, 2012 10:41 AM

                  Bi-Rite sells a dry/cured spanish chorizo.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: boris_qd
                    Robert Lauriston Apr 11, 2012 10:44 AM

                    Fresh chorizo is a Mexican thing. Spanish chorizo is cured.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      boris_qd Apr 11, 2012 10:53 AM

                      I'm pretty sure I saw fresh on my last trip to Spain - but I'm not really a Spanish food expert. In any case, there's certainly a variety available in the stores there - from soft (and fresh looking) to quite desicated. I don't know how authorative this is but they mention fresh and dried here: http://spanishfood.about.com/od/spani...

                      1. re: boris_qd
                        Robert Lauriston Apr 11, 2012 11:13 AM

                        The fresh chorizo you find around here is Mexican. Of course they have fresh sausages in Spain. You can substitute fresh Italian sausages, which are quite similar, and some pimenton.

                  2. BernalKC Apr 11, 2012 11:24 AM

                    Lucca on Valencia has 2-3 varieties of Spanish, not-Mexican chorizo. Don't remember the brands. The one that I tried was actually, surprisingly bland. Have not had a chance to ask the guys there if the other choices were spicier.

                    1. b
                      Bonnie Ochoa Apr 16, 2012 11:35 AM

                      in the Bay Area, South Bay, go to Lunardi's in Los Gatos.

                      1. j
                        jwallace1122 Apr 16, 2012 06:31 PM

                        I buy my chorizo at the Santa Rosa Costco. I'm not an expert on chorizo, but I know what I like. It's the best i've tasted. As far as I know it's the only place you can get it. It's called El Mexicano Pork Chorizo, made locally.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: jwallace1122
                          Spatlese Apr 16, 2012 07:05 PM

                          If the brand is El Mexicano, presumably it's Mexican-style (i.e. uncured) chorizo? Completely different animal (so to speak) from the Spanish-style stuff that's available stateside, as Robert mentioned above.

                          1. re: jwallace1122
                            SWISSAIRE Apr 16, 2012 07:15 PM

                            When my wife and I lived in Southern California, La Espangola was a regular shopping trip for us on Saturdays. Dona Juana, is one of the nicest, most genuine store owners we have ever met. This is a true family operation, and she and her son in law continue that tradition.

                            The store is now selling online, but a trip there would allow you to look, smell, sample-taste, and enjoy the various items with a little wine, Sangria, and other treats. I even found frozen bread shipped in from Spain that became a regular item to include in our carton load out to the SUV.

                            Do you enjoy Paella ? Everything is there for you: Rice, oil, saffron, seasoning, sausages ( they make them all there ), pans, tools, and burners. If you just want to sample some Paella with wine ask a few questions on recipes and cooking technique, and or hang and mix with the fun European crowd, they make a huge batch for 200+ on Saturdays. But be advised: Go there early !

                            1. re: SWISSAIRE
                              Robert Lauriston Apr 17, 2012 09:06 AM

                              You can get the La Española stuff locally. Berkeley Bowl and Spanish Table have it. Maybe if you phoned them they could tell you retailers on the Peninsula.


                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                SWISSAIRE Apr 17, 2012 11:35 AM

                                La Espanola does manufacture it's products and package for other stores.

                                We saw that many of the La Espanola cured meat products were being packaged for Whole Foods.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  Melanie Wong Apr 17, 2012 12:44 PM

                                  Perhaps you're referring to La Espanola's own meat products. But I'll point out that it also imports from Spain and has many, many more things on offer than its own cured meats and at lower prices than Spanish Table (even including shipping costs to the Bay Area from LA).

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                                    SWISSAIRE Apr 17, 2012 01:36 PM


                            2. singleguychef Apr 17, 2012 11:21 AM

                              Spanish Table will probably give you the best options, but if for some reason they're out, I also find them at Piedmont Grocery in Oakland on Piedmont Avenue. But they only have one option. They work fine for me since it's right around the corner from where I live.

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