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Jan 22, 2007 08:37 PM

Source for Avocado Leaves in Oakland/Berkeley?

Just returned from Oaxaca and I'm eager to try to make their spicy, flavorful black bean paste that's a staple of street food. Hoja de aguacate (avocado leaf) is a key ingredient -- anyone know where in Oakland or Berkeley this is available? Berkeley Bowl? Latin markets?

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  1. Try the two Mexican grocers on San Pablo just south of University.

    Also, back yards--avocados don't ripen very well if at all here, but they have plenty of leaves.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      That would be Mi Tierra and Mi Rancho--I bought dried avocado leaves at Mi Tierra about a year or so ago, but not more recently.

    2. Dried or fresh leaves?

      If fresh, I'd ask avocado vendors at farmers markets to bring you some.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Oh yeah, the avocado people at the Berkeley farmers markets would probably be happy to oblige with advance notice.

        Though they weren't there last Saturday.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          The freeze supposedly hit the avocado farmers hard -- even if it didn't affect their crop too badly, they were probably too busy trying to save their crop to trek to the farmer's market.

          I have a huge avocado tree (about 25-30 feet tall) in my back yard -- people are more than welcome to the leaves. It's not grafted, so it rarely get pollinated, and the avocados it does produce never turn into anything (I think the squirrels eat them when they're small, and I know they throw them at the dog). Good thing: I hate avocados, and the fruit from a 25-foot tree would just end up as guacamole on my patio. I had no idea the leaves were good for anything (except making a mess).

      2. Just be careful with avocado leaves if you are pregnant. I went to summer school in Guanajuato and learned many uses besides cooking with the leaves.

        1. I'm looking for avocado leaves to import to Hawaii. But, be sure that you use Persea drimyfolia and not P. americana. I guess they are just diferent subspecies and not different species, but the ones they use in Mexico are drimyfolia and not americana. The Hass avocados and similar ones that we have in Hawaii are americana and you don't use the leaves to cook with.

          1. I've got a "Mexicolo" plant in my back yard. It's about 10 feet tall and 4 years old. Let me know if you want some.