Continuing my crawl checking out the small Mexican markets from Richmond to Pinole ...
If Valley Produce is the Fatted Calf of the Mexican market sausage set, Carniceria Mi Tierra is the Bruce Adelle.
Even on the slowest day of the week there are two butchers ... two knowledgeable butchers ... at the meat counter. On the weekends, three butchers are there. I suspect the young week-end butcher is a son. He speaks excellent English.
The quality and selection of the meat is top-notch and it will get lovingly cut to specification. I always enjoy when someone orders a special cut and watch these guys score and carve the meat. They care about the meat.
Fresh chorizo – Fat, juicy, mouth-tingly spicy with little flecks of red pepper, the medium grind chorizo oozes a 1/2 inch of red oil while frying.
Dry chorizo: - Medium grind and packed with porky pleasure. It is deep red with respectful heat, a touch of cinnamon and some pepper seeds. Not as oily as the fresh, but enough to keep it juicily delicious. There’s just enough oil to fry an egg.
They have a nice selection of fish ... the variety of shrimp can be very interesting.
The cheese is decent though none is house-made. Sometimes they have plastic pints of thick crema.
They have a nice thin guacamole dip and a good salsa with samples available. So far though, El Mercadito San Juan has my favorite guac/salsas. The house-made mole is a little unusual being thick. There are little chunks of it in the plastic container rather than a sauce. One of these days ... a mole crawl.
Sometimes there are plastic pint containers of little yellow peppers that look like pepperoncini. There are other unidentifiable, to me, condiments and dried things in plastic containers on the counter.
The market must have a different owner. The meat is paid for at the carniceria. The market itself is average good. There is a good veggie selection, about a dozen bins of dried peppers at the standard $3.99 a pound. The freezer case has some Latino veggies and fruits and other frozen goods. There are three varieties of spice packages. A small case of pan dulce is up front with nice bins of rolls. There are standard groceries.
It wasn’t the chorizo that started my crawl of Mexican markets, it was the carnitas. I have yet to see any carnitas at any of these places on the weekends though they all have signs in the window advertising it.
Often they have big glass cases filled with chicharrones ... not carnitas. However, last week-end as I walked into Mi Tierra, one man was leaving with his own crock pot full of some item, so maybe you have to ask and bring your own container. Since I’m getting braver, I might start asking about the weekend carnitas at these markets.
Carniceria Mi Tierra
516 23rd Street
Richmond , CA 94804
Chorizo Crawl Recap – What’s your favorite chorizo?
Next: La Raza ... but not sure which La Raza yet