4 December, 2022, 03:37

15+ Restaurants join the very first Tucson Chinese Chorizo Festival

The city-wide festival takes place during three weekends

For the very first time, the Tucson Chinese Chorizo Festival is hosting its community-driven event from Friday, October 14 – Sunday, October 30.

Here’s how it works:

Throughout the month, and in partnership with Tucson Foodie, more than 15 local restaurants are participating as official destinations to celebrate the Chinese chorizo. Each weekend, seven to eight restaurants will receive two 15-pound donations of Chinese chorizo: one made with sustainably sourced meats, and one plant-based vegan.

Chinese chorizo and a fried egg (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Plant-based vegan Chinese chorizo and a fried egg (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

It’s up to the chefs how they prepare the dishes and it’s your decision on how many destinations you visit each Friday-Sunday. As an added perk during the Tucson Chinese Chorizo Festival, attendees will be able to participate in a digital restaurant bingo where the winner will receive a grand prize.

Also, if you’d like to get creative in your own kitchen, you can purchase the chorizo at Forbes Meat Co.

Tucson Chinese Chorizo Festival Distributors

With support from local food producers Spencer’s Shroomery and Desert Provisions, Asian American chefs Feng-Feng Yeh and Jackie Tran will adapt the original Chinese chorizo recipe alongside local chef Maria Mazon of BOCA to make a vegan, plant-based Chinese chorizo, and then a meat Chinese chorizo with Ben Forbes of Forbes Meat Co.

Feng-Feng Yeh and Maria Mazon making Chinese chorizo (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Feng-Feng Yeh and Maria Mazon making Chinese chorizo (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

These two versions will be produced and then distributed to the following restaurants on the following days:

Chinese Chorizo Distribution Schedule

Friday, October 14 – Sunday, October 16
  • BOCA by Chef Maria Mazon
  • 5 Points Market & Restaurant
  • Tooley’s Cafe
  • Cup Cafe
  • Cafe a la C’art
  • Fatboy Sandos
  • Forbes Meat Co.
Friday, October 21 – Sunday, October 23
  • CERES
  • El Chinito Gordo
  • LaCo
  • Penca
  • Tucson Tamale
  • Forbes Meat Co.
  • El Charro Cafe
  • Charro Vida
Friday, October 28 – Sunday, October 30
  • The Coronet
  • Noodies
  • Tran’s Fats
  • Tito & Pep
  • Tucson Tamale
  • Maynards
  • Forbes Meat Co.
A little bit of history about Chinese chorizo in Tucson

Chinese chorizo is a historic food symbol of community solidarity in Tucson. The city-wide festival was created to uplift its lost origin story in some 114 Chinese grocery stores that were founded by Mexican and Chinese immigrant allyship during the 1880-1960s. These two communities helped each other thrive economically and culturally within Tucson’s downtown historic barrios.

The Chinese grocery stores became centers for the community. These stores carried Mexican staple ingredients, offered service in Spanish and indigenous languages, and offered mutual aid in the form of credit through difficult times. The Tucson Chinese Chorizo Festival aims to build an interconnected community between Tucson restaurants, residents, and tourism through shared food and historic education.

Plate-based vegan Chinese chorizo (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Plant-based vegan Chinese chorizo (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Chinese Chorizo Project

The festival is also a prelude to a public, large-scale, mosaic sculpture of two linked Chinese chorizo. Both elements are part of a larger proposal called the Chinese Chorizo Project that was recently awarded a grant from the Tucson MOCA and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts.

A coinciding educational program will be developed with the Arizona Historical Society in order to provide historic context alongside the festival and sculpture.

Mosaic sculpture for the Chinese Chorizo Project (Photo courtesy of Chinese Chorizo Project)

Mosaic sculpture for the Chinese Chorizo Project (Photo courtesy of Chinese Chorizo Project)

Overall, the Tucson Chinese Chorizo Festival will nourish today’s community with this unsung story of perseverance and solidarity while giving Tucsonans a literal taste of gastronomic history.

For more information, visit chinesechorizoproject.com.

Tucson Foodie is the leading online source for all things food in Tucson, Arizona. Have an event, recipe, or piece of news we should know about? Send it to info@tucsonfoodie.com.

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