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Guarapo de Cana - Sugar Cane Juice; Yerba Buena?

I am trying to recreate a mojito I had recently in Miami. They used sugar cane juice. Apparently this is sometimes available fresh at Latin markets. Goya sells it in cans. Does anyone know any place to get this in the Boston area? Has anyone made guarapo from fresh sugar cane? If so, where is a good place to get fresh sugar cane: Super 88? I understand that organic sugar cane is preferred by many -- any ideas? How about finding yerba buena, which is a wild Cuban mint?

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  1. I don't know of fresh juice options, but Chinese markets also sell sugar cane juice, but in drinkable box types. Obviously, this will be diluted with preservatives. Fresh sugar cane can be found in some Chinese markets, though it's more rare these days. Fresh sugar crane is not easy to extract juice from (woody and tough texture), so even if you found it, I'd be hard pressed to believe anyone would extract anything from it unless you have an incredible, beyond-inustrial stregth juicer/blender. If worse comes to worst, you may want to consider buying pure cane sugar (found in Chinese markets) and dissolving that with water for your recipe.

    1. A decent number of the Brazilian bakeries and snack places have machines that extract cane juice and sell it (would guess frozen cane, but not certain). Some Brazilian products, though suffer from variable availability so you might need to hunt around. In Somerville I believe Sweet Brasil on McGrath, Brasilegal on McGrath, and Pastelaria Vitoria are among the places offering it. I haven't seen boxed cane juice in Brazilian markets.

      In a few cases where I have needed sugar cane, I have used a canned product from thailand which is available at Market Basket and the Super88. If you were really energetic, you could slice these and try crushing the juice out with a heavy
      rolling pin... but is probably easier.

      You could also dilute cane syrup which is available from Whole Foods and might be purer than some of the boxed options.

      1. Thanks for the info. I've found both the canned Thai sugar cane and two brands of canned sugar cane juice - or really sugar cane drink - at Super 88. I am still looking for fresh juice and I will try some of your suggestions.

        Pressing your own cane seems to be out of the question. I read about it on an Australian website for vegetarians. Apparently there are presses made just for this. The pictures were of old ones. They looked like they were cast iron and about the size of a refrigerator.

        Any ideas where to get fresh sugar cane (for garnish) ? I know you can get it in the area, because I had some in my basement refrigerator for months after a random purchase somewhere. Whole Foods (Newton) does not have it and neither does Super 88. I may have gotten it at Haymarket one Friday.

        Also yerba buena (or hierba buena) anyone?

        Thanks again.

        2 Replies
        1. re: headbroad

          If you are in Newton, it maybe easier for you to head to downtown Framingham than Somerville. I know Padaria Brasil Bakery in downtown has served cane juice. And if not there are 2 other bakeries to try, plus the Gol market near downtown.

          I vaguely recall Belo Market in Allston possibly also serving it at their snack bar, but am not fully sure about that. There also is the Brazilian Bakery on Harvard Ave which might or might not have.

          1. re: headbroad

            Could you please pass on the brand and company name for the sugarcane juice you mentioned?

            Thanks!

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Itaunas mentioned this place below. Was there this morning and they were making fresh Guarapo as I was buying breakfast. Link to the thread:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/454614

              Padaria Brasil Bakery
              125 Harvard Ave. Allston - 617-202-6783
              (Just off the intersection of Harvard and Brighton Ave. towards Commonwealth)

              4 Replies
              1. re: StriperGuy

                I just noticed your reply on an old thread. Thanks, this is so close to me.

                1. re: headbroad

                  I saw a sign for yerba buena yesterday at La Chapincita Market on Moody St. in Waltham. I think it was with the cilantro in a refrigerator case. In any event, you may want to give them a call first to be sure it's fresh and not dried, since I wasn't looking specifically for it and may be mistaken.

                  1. re: headbroad

                    I have since had fresh guarapo there. Tasty...

                    1. re: headbroad

                      headbroad I think you mentioned on another thread that you are working in Medford. You might want to give Cabana Grill across from BJ's on Middlesex ave (the right hand side of the 28/middlesex split at Kappy's). I believe they do serve it, but not certain if its all the time. And if you commute back through Somerville, Pastelaria Vitoria Broadway mentioned above which always has it is just off 28 or 99. There are even more options in Everett (Main St is faster than Broadway).... Its called Caldo de Cana at Brazilian markets (and while you are there try a "batida de abacate" a sweet avocado shake). These days it appears to mostly be fresh, but sometimes frozen.