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Mexican ingredients in Oz, particularly in Sydney


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We've been having a discussion on another forum (glass beadmakers) about Mexican cooking and one of our members, who lives in Sydney, lamented the scarcity of Mexican ingredients in Oz.

In an effort to help, I searched all of the foodie websites I know, as well as Google, and didn't come up with much. Some dried chiles, some salsas, lots of tortillas.

The one thing I had no luck with was maiz para posole, also known as maiz cacahuacincle, or - in the US - hominy. This corn product is an essential ingredient in posole. The dried form is preferred, as it makes a much nicer posole, but canned will certainly suffice. You know what they say about beggars and choosers.

Anyone have any notion of where it can be had in Oz ... if at all?

Many thanks,

Barb

Barb Cohan-Saavedra

Co-owner of Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine, lawyer, jewelry designer, glass beadmaker, dessert-maker (I'm a lawyer who bakes, not a pastry chef), bookkeeper, payroll clerk and caffeine-addict

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Mexican is hard because there's just not many mexican immigrants to Australia. Your best bet is to actually look for synonomous ingredients from other cultures. For example, India and Mexico share a lot of culinary synchronity even though they are from diametrically opposite sides of the globe.

PS: I am a guy.

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Mexican is hard because there's just not many mexican immigrants to Australia. Your best bet is to actually look for synonomous ingredients from other cultures. For example, India and Mexico share a lot of culinary synchronity even though they are from diametrically opposite sides of the globe.

That's a good point. In fact, in the past, before there were enough Mexican immigrants here in Philadelphia to support viable businesses that sell Mexican food items, I made do with many wonderful ingredients that I found in Asian supermarkets. When we finally acquired a Mexican grocery store, my husband and I had to drive 114 miles round trip to buy authentic ingredients. (Those were the days before online shopping!) Now, there are scores of grocery stores within a 15 minute drive.

I suppose it's now time to research whether any other cultures use maiz cacahuacincle or something similar. Somehow, I doubt it, but it will be fun to search...

If not, there's always the good old postal service... though that could prove to be very expensive. <sigh>

Thanks for your reply.

Barb

Barb Cohan-Saavedra

Co-owner of Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine, lawyer, jewelry designer, glass beadmaker, dessert-maker (I'm a lawyer who bakes, not a pastry chef), bookkeeper, payroll clerk and caffeine-addict

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The essential ingredient in Crows Nest (Sydney) has almost everything you would need. It is VERY expensive, but they have it. (http://www.theessentialingredient.com.au). They have chillies, mexican chocolate, hominy, white and blue masa harina, hot sauces, mole paste, etc etc. For a larger selection chillies, goto Herbies in Rozelle (expensive once again but you can get them).

The best place to get any mexican is to mail order it from Aztec (http://www.aztecmexican.com.au/) in Victoria.

Hope that helps!

Edited by infernooo (log)
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For my very first post(!), could I also suggest Fire Works Foods, which I haven't used yet, but appears to ship from Sydney (North Rocks).

They seem to have a pretty varied product list, including masa for tamales. I saw hominy on their product list, as well as cuitlachoche (all tinned, of course). They've also got a huge range of seeds for chiles and a few kitchen tools, like a comale and a tortilla press.

If your friend has the time/space/inclanation for gardening, Eden Seeds sells tomatillo and Jicama (yam bean?) seeds, as well as some chiles and a pretty big variety of maize and sweetcorn.

Snadra

edited to add:

Some time ago I also saw a short spot on TV with (I think) the chef from the Mexican embassy in Canberra. She said that the correct type of corn husk for tamales is difficult to find here, so she used banana leaf instead. Even in Sydney a lot of gardens have bananas, although it's too cold for them to fruit, so your friend might be able to cadge some banana leaves if she's interested in making tamales.

Edited by Snadra (log)
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  • 3 months later...

Tuesday's Good Living from the SMH had an article on Martinez Bros Deli Cafe, Shop 1, Spencer Street, Fairfield, Ph: 9727 5509

It says they sell a big range of items from all over South America (flours, hot peppers, dried potatoes, malt drinks, beans and fruit pastes), as well as the 'usual' deli items.

Snadra

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Mexican food will be the focus of Meave O'Meara's "Food Safari" show. Tune in on SBS on Wednesday, 14th February at 7.30pm.

I've seen most of the shows in the current series, and it is very well put together - as one of the (few cluey) TV critics wrote, she manages to put in quite a lot in half an hour. Still, in the last couple of editions of the Age Green Guide, the critics have had a go at her....apparantly she shows too much enthusiasm about the food :rolleyes: ......I'm really not sure why because imho she's one of the best food show presenters on TV.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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  • 8 months later...

Oh I'm so glad I found this thread! I have a Mexican cookbook but have trouble GETTING the ingredients arrh!

Hmm Crows Nest and Fairfield -nice! Hopefully they're still open by the time I found this thread haaha!

Shinboners: I think Meave O'Meara is great too! I even recorded that Mexican episode. Unfortunately, I missed out on a couple of episodes though because I was on holiday at the time :(

Hopefully they'll do re-runs.

Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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  • 1 year later...

What a godsend! We live in India, but are from Arizona - Mexican food fanatics, and there's several families here...long story short, we're headed to Oz again in January, we'll be able to stock up!

Muchos Gracias!

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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Fireworks Foods has already been mentioned as a possibility. I have actually ordered from them and the service is very good: prompt delivery, really nice products, and much cheaper than the other alternatives. They are a good source for pre-made tortillas if you want those as well. They also stock locally made chilli sauces if that is something you could use.

They've been having a bit of trouble with their e-commerce software recently so you may need to email or phone through your order.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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  • 2 months later...

Fireworks Foods has already been mentioned as a possibility. I have actually ordered from them and the service is very good: prompt delivery, really nice products, and much cheaper than the other alternatives. They are a good source for pre-made tortillas if you want those as well.

That's good to hear as I've not been able to find corn tortillas in the shops for some time, and I'm thinking of getting into a bit of mexican cooking.

Also, if you are looking for dried beans, I can recommend Santos Trading. Their prices for pinto & black beans are great and the quality is fantastic. I also use them for organic flour, quinoa and a few other bits and pieces.

Snadra

(good to be back after a long time away!)

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  • 2 months later...

After discovering Rick Bayless on the Top Chef Masters, I’ve been searching for Mexican ingredients to make some of his wonderful recipes and discovered montereyfoods.com.au and Fireworksfoods.com.au website recommended earlier.

I, however have not purchase anything because I was worried the postage would be too expensive for items I desire such as canned Whole Tomatillo’s and maybe a tortillas press..

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I know postage from fireworks foods is very reasonable.

According to their website, they also have a shop front at their warehouse: Unit 15, 16 Loyalty Road, North Rocks. Call them first on 0432 507 521 / 0407 075206 to make sure someone is there to meet you.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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  • 3 months later...

Fireworks Foods has already been mentioned as a possibility. I have actually ordered from them and the service is very good: prompt delivery, really nice products, and much cheaper than the other alternatives. They are a good source for pre-made tortillas if you want those as well. They also stock locally made chilli sauces if that is something you could use.

I got some tortillas, tortilla chips, dried chiles and a tin of hominy from Fireworks Foods last week. The tortillas were a revelation compared to the corn tortillas that have been available recently. Lovely flavour and texture. The tortilla chips were also fantastic. Given the weather (the cold cold and frosty weather!) I'm keen to make something warming, and I think pozole might be nice, now that I've finally got hominy.

And today, searching for dried hominy rather than canned, I made a new find: Quilla Foods. In the 'natural foods' section, they sell dried mote, which according to the googles is another term for hominy. I'll be ordering from them soon and will keep you posted.

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