Woman reading label in a grocery store
13 Mexican Grocery Store Items You Won't Find At Your Supermarket
A seasoning you won’t find in your average grocery store is epazote, a Central American herb with a pungent, earthy flavor with hints of basil, mint, citrus, and anise.
Mexican grocery stores sell it fresh by the bunch. You can use it for dishes like stews, beans, or quesadillas, and can even be brewed for medicinal tea.
You’re probably familiar with fungi like crimini and shiitakes, but at a Mexican grocery store, you’ll find huitlacoche, an edible fungus that grows on corn.
The fungus is prized for its complex flavor which is by turns earthy and umami. Moreover, its spongy, chewy texture makes it great for quesadillas, tamales, and tacos.
Hoja Santa
Spanish for "sacred leaf," hoja santa is sometimes called "root beer plant" due to its flavor with notes of mint, anise, black pepper, and sassafrass.
The Aztecs used the plant in chocolate drinks and medicine for digestion and pain relief. Today, it’s used as an edible wrapper for meat and flavor in pozole and mole.
Nopales are the edible pads of the prickly pear cactus. Once the spikes are moved, they make a delicious treat whether raw, grilled, or sauteed.
With their slightly tart, citrusy flavor and crisp, gelatinous texture with anti-inflammatory properties, they’ll make you feel as good as they taste.
Chayote is a summer squash with a vibrant green color and a fresh, light flavor that's almost like a cross between a potato and a cucumber.
Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and essential minerals, chayote is an excellent addition to your diet and can be used in place of any starchy veg like potatoes or parsnips.