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Friday, October 15, 2010

Ochoa's Chorizo Store

Ochoa's Chorizo Store
220 W. Warner Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 850-0052

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This blog isn't just about Mexican restaurants in Orange County; it's also about Mexican food in Orange County, no matter what type of place it may come from. Reprinted here with permission is a review by Griffin Tamura of Griffin Eats OC and Griffin Sells OC of a store in Santa Ana that specializes in chorizo.


I was driving around Santa Ana recently when I saw a sign out of the corner of my eye. The sign read, "Ochoa's Chorizo Store. OC Best Homemade Style Chorizo" I wasn't able to turn my car into the parking lot fast enough. I went in the store and was amazed by what I saw. With the exception of a few bags of chips and packages of tortillas in the corner, this clean, little shop sells nothing but chorizo. I felt as if I had been transported to some kind of chorizo heaven. Racks and racks of fresh chorizo links were being made behind the counter.


(Photo from Yelp, used with permission from Ochoa's Chorizo)

Ochoa's Chorizo store offers 4 different kinds of chorizo. The 4 types are regular, spicy, chorizo verde (green) and chorizo de pollo (chicken). Other than the chorizo de pollo, all of the chorizo is made with ground pork. The chorizo is sold by the link or half link and ranges between $7.00-$7.50 per link. Each link is about 3 feet long and weighs about 1 1/2 lbs! On my first visit, I purchased some spicy chorizo. It was so good that I returned a week or two later and purchased about 6 lbs. of spicy and chorizo verde.

After my first visit, I came home and researched Ochoa's. Apparently the Ochoa family has been making fresh chorizo in Orange County for over 35 years. They used to sell the chorizo out of their home, but it became so popular that they needed to open a retail location. People apparently drive from all over Southern California to buy this chorizo in bulk. I don't blame them. This chorizo is so good that I would happily drive hours to buy some. Luckily though, it's only about a 15 minute drive from my house.

The chorizo from Ochoa's is not your typical grocery store chorizo that transforms into a neon orange, greasy mess when you cook it. This chorizo is made from lean ground pork. The chorizo crumbles and cooks up nicely, similar to lean ground beef.


(One link of chorizo verde, casing removed, cooking up in a pan.)

The flavor of the chorizo is absolutely amazing. If it's not the best chorizo I have ever had in my entire life, it's pretty darn close. Ochoa's will most likely be the only place I purchase my chorizo from now on. I highly encourage all of you to walk, run, drive or whatever down to Ochoa's as fast as you can to get this chorizo. Oh......and I know you all like to mix chorizo with eggs, but in my opinion this ruins it. Make yourself a burrito or some (corn tortilla) tacos with just chorizo, cilantro, diced onions, cotija cheese and your favorite hot sauce or salsa. It'll blow your mind.

8 comments:

Melissa said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I had no idea they were there. I went today and bought one link of spicy and I plan to make tacos with it tomorrow or Monday. Will definitely let you know how we liked it. Thanks Griffin/Christian!

ChristianZ said...

Excellent. Always good to hear that a post prompted somebody to go to the place. And this time it happened super quick.

Melissa said...

Super quick indeed - I ended up making chorizo and black bean chili with it tonight. SO. GOOD. I'm going to go to Griffin's blog and tell him over there too. Amazing find!!

ChristianZ said...

Yes, Griffin gets the most credit here.

Kelly von Hemert said...

Christian,
You have solved my Christmas gift giving dilemma once and for all. Forget Hickory Farms summer sausage, my guy is getting a field trip to Ochoa's Chorizo Store!
Thanks for the awesome find.

ChristianZ said...

No problem. I gotta alert Griffin to the comments he's getting.

LosinIt said...

The only place I have ever had Chorizo Verde is in Oaxaca. I must go to this place and try it. Can you tell me how it tastes and what they use to season it?

Griffin said...

Losinit-I can't say for sure what is in the Chorizo Verde, but I believe the two main ingredients that make it green are cilantro and fresh jalapeno peppers.