In addition to peppers, your Mexican market will have things like cilantro, limes, avocados, tomatoes, and onions. The produce there tends to have a higher turnover — and therefore taste fresher — than at some mainstream supermarkets.
There are plenty of locations that offer such needs as food, household goods and personal items. The best thing you can purchase when you go to an authentic Mexican food store is fresh tortillas. They tend to carry products popular in the state of Puebla, which is where many of the Mexicans in New York are from. Buy some carne asada to take a shortcut to cilantro beef tacos. There are several places you can buy produce. If not, you may be missing out on some good ingredients — not to mention good deals on groceries you usually buy elsewhere. As we mentioned above, the veggies, fruits and other perishables have a much shorter shelf life than in the US. Banana leaves, typically used to wrap tamales, can also be used to swaddle marinated meats, chicken and fish to add a smoky flavor when they’re roasted or steamed. The manager was excited by the growing interest in Mexican food and the variety this allows the store to carry. Jicama is hard, crispy, and has a fairly neutral taste. With a bit of luck, you’ll find a print ad or a sign directing you to a new Mexican store that you can loot for all of these delicious ingredients.
But not all of them are the same. They can be eaten raw, but you can also blanche or sauté them and use them as a topping in tacos, mixed with eggs, mixed with beans, or in soups. You can do this with a tortilla press, often found in the kitchen aisle or on Amazon, or you can roll it with a rolling pin. They’re not necessarily a health nut’s idea of a good food, but they’re incredibly tasty.
Others include cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, and more!
Lesley Téllez is a journalist, entrepreneur, and Mexican cookbook author living in New York City. Not to mention your pocket book as well. Those dry, brittle, rubbery disks that have been sitting on the grocery store’s “Mexican” or “International” aisle in your other grocery store are better used as a coaster compared to the warm, soft, freshly made corn tortillas you can find here. Highly recommended.
Stopping by Mi Mexico Pequeño (4513 Fifth Ave., between 45th and 46th Sts., 718-437-1031) before heading home, I picked my way through baker’s racks full of variations on pan mexicano, sweet brioche-like buns with names like conchas, monas and besos. Written by Luisa Davis on .
They’re not unlike string cheese or mozzarella in many ways, but there are some subtle differences that you’ll notice when you buy them. Not only can you use these leaves as a natural remedy, you can also use them in smoothies and other healthy dishes. Some markets even have a fresh crema bar that allows you to sample different flavors and textures before you commit to a whole container. If you want a big tub of rendered pork fat, the Mexican store is the place to go. This allows shoppers to browse between merchants without having to drive, use a taxi or public transportation.
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