ingredients for mexican food

luddite

Registered
so I fancy myself a decent cook/baker and would like to indulge in some of my favorite recipes. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, especially with regard to "mexican" food ingredients. I can understand the paucity/absence of some items, but the lack of some basic foods puzzles me:

red onions -- nowhere to be found. Is there a red onion season or is this item "too exotic" for argentine palates?

cilantro -- found some poor quality stuff at local veggie stand; is there a "farmers market around which specializes in better quality produce?

limes -- why are these so expensive (when you can find them). I see shelves of lemon juice, but nary a bottle of lime juice

canned black beans -- no where to be found. I've purchased porotos negroes, but the prep time (soaking, boiling and simmering) is a two-day process and I'd prefer something a little more convenient

jalpenos -- i haven't even bothered to look for these as I think they are about as rare as a humble argentine.

corn flour (yes, I make my own tortillas) -- pipe dream??

tomatillos -- one can hope, right?

Any other foodies out there who like to cook?
 

EvergreenGal

Registered
I just saw red onions in our larger produce stand today...so they must be in season now....

I have purchased a cilantro plant that I got at one of the local nurserys...best bet to have it when you want it...the plant isn't as "strong" a flavor as to what I am used to be at least it's fresh!

Jalapenos...any of the Bolivian Lady produce vendors usually have them...I have also gotten them at Jumbo's at Unicenter. ***These ladies are on a lot of the street corners and tend to have the best produce and good prices...it's worth looking for them!! Not sure where you are but there is a Bolivian lady at the Martinez train station, on the East side of the tracks, that always has the best produce!!

Corn flour...haven't looked for it, but check out any Dietetica near you, if they don't have it they surely could suggest where to find it.

Limes...no lime juice...that I have seen...buy them from a small vendor usually cheaper than the larger grocery stores.

tomatillos...hmm nope!

***Do check out Carrefour, Jumbo's...maybe Disco and some of the Cotto's have an area of Mexican food items and you might be able to find canned black beans...and other speciality items...
 

mini

Registered
luddite said:
so I fancy myself a decent cook/baker and would like to indulge in some of my favorite recipes. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, especially with regard to "mexican" food ingredients. I can understand the paucity/absence of some items, but the lack of some basic foods puzzles me:

red onions -- nowhere to be found. Is there a red onion season or is this item "too exotic" for argentine palates?

cilantro -- found some poor quality stuff at local veggie stand; is there a "farmers market around which specializes in better quality produce?

limes -- why are these so expensive (when you can find them). I see shelves of lemon juice, but nary a bottle of lime juice

canned black beans -- no where to be found. I've purchased porotos negroes, but the prep time (soaking, boiling and simmering) is a two-day process and I'd prefer something a little more convenient

jalpenos -- i haven't even bothered to look for these as I think they are about as rare as a humble argentine.

corn flour (yes, I make my own tortillas) -- pipe dream??

tomatillos -- one can hope, right?

Any other foodies out there who like to cook?

Funny that you post this as I was just thinking were could I get dried ancho chilis.

But the rest of the things you are looking for I get at the Disco. The only exception being tomatillos. I've never seen them. And the flour as I don't use it. But there is a thread on here, which I can't find where someone mentioned where to get the flour. Also I've stopped buying black beans in a can and now I buy them dried in bulk at the Coto. It's more work but they taste much better.

The red onions you may not have seen as they tend to be tiny &/or come in the green onion form.
 

Napoleon

Registered
DISCO carries a line of products from El Paso that includes:

Jalepenos

Refried (Fat-Free) Black Beans (You're not going go find the others in a can.)


Re: Red Onions-

I think that there IS a season. I didn't know this until earlier this week.


Re: Cilantro is also called "Coriander". (That's what the Brits call it.)

Try asking for Coriander and you might find it at a produce stand.


Re: Limes

This I don't understand. Over in Brazil they're a dime a dozen (not literally), but here they're more precious than gold (not literally).
 

mendozanow

Registered
Imported (legally) food like limes are an arm and a leg because of the huge import taxes in Argentina. We should be swimming in the cheap,glorious fruit of Brazil but we are not. It is a crime that we have to pay 1 or 2 or 3 pesos for each alga (seaweed wrap) to make suishi ( you can buy a hundred for less than a buck in North America) , but we do even thoiugh they are cheaply made b yht elarge number of Japenese -Brazilian family business making it in Brazil.
 

mini

Registered
Limes may be more expensive than elsewhere and it's true you get see big huge displays of limes when they are in season. But there are always some around. I buy them quite often. \

Cilantro can a bit harder to find, in that, it may be out of stock the day you want it. So I buy it every time I see it.

Red onions, limes, black beans & cilantro are things that I usually always have have in my fridge. I buy them when I see them. So I haven't seen any particular "shortage".

As for the jalapenos, I imagine you want fresh one. I don't really use these. So I don't particular look for them. But I do have a jar of the "preserved" ones in my fridge. They are with the other "casa something" brand of products you can get at Disco/Jumbo.
 

mendozanow

Registered
Cilantro is a basic ingredient of Bolivian and Peruviabn food, so look for the many Bolivian or Peruvian food stores in BA, especially where their neoghbourhoods are.
 

luddite

Registered
thanks all. I looked for these items at Jumbo, Carrefour, Coto and Disco around my neighborhood in Barrio Norte, but didn't have much success. I did purchase dried black beans and made my corn/black bean salad. It's a work in progress.

I found one place with meager cilantro and and found limes only at a couple of places. Too bad about the tomatillos -- I make a wicked tomatillo/honey/avocado/ jalapeno salsa (spicy start with a sweet finish).

I was tempted to bake a blueberry buckle today until I saw what passed for blueberries. I'll check out the bolivian market; maybe I'll have better luck.
 

EvergreenGal

Registered
luddite said:
thanks all. I looked for these items at Jumbo, Carrefour, Coto and Disco around my neighborhood in Barrio Norte, but didn't have much success. I did purchase dried black beans and made my corn/black bean salad. It's a work in progress.

I found one place with meager cilantro and and found limes only at a couple of places. Too bad about the tomatillos -- I make a wicked tomatillo/honey/avocado/ jalapeno salsa (spicy start with a sweet finish).

I was tempted to bake a blueberry buckle today until I saw what passed for blueberries. I'll check out the bolivian market; maybe I'll have better luck.
I just got fresh blueberries today...yes they are larger than the ones in the US...but I make muffins and they are great...got them at the large produce market on Rawson Street in La Lucila....on the East side of the street ..just up from the train station...
 
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