HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice

Authentic Mexican purveyor needed

itryalot Apr 2, 2007 02:54 AM

We just returned from Mexico and now the pathetic Mexican ingredients and tortillas we get at the chain grocers won't cut it. Any ideas for good, authentic tortillas and other products?

  1. c
    crawfish Apr 2, 2007 04:14 AM

    There are South American grocers on Augusta in Kensington. They carry tortillas and canned goods and produce. I believe that is the closest thing you're going to find around here.

    1. s
      ssainani Apr 2, 2007 08:02 AM

      I like Edgars Latin Foods on queensway (in between Royal York and Parklawn)

      1. Kagemusha Apr 2, 2007 10:09 AM

        Loblaws+No Frills(location-dependent)are carrying a widening range of Mexican canned chiles and salsas. Want fresh tortillas? Make 'em yourself! Seriously, though, there's just not a large enough market in TO for fresh tortillas al la "tortilla factory" that you'll see in, say, Phoenix, LA, or any other US cities with large Mexican populations. That may change but so far buying masa and DIY are the quickest solutions. Besides, metates and limed corn are just plain hard work!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kagemusha
          itryalot Apr 3, 2007 01:52 PM

          OK. I am game for making them. Now I need to check out the other forums.

          1. re: Kagemusha
            pouletsecret Dec 21, 2007 05:49 PM

            People keep saying that To can't support its own tortilleria, but somehow Montreal has an excellent one that is thriving. The Tortilleria Maya makes and sells fresh corn tortillas as well as flour ones, and all the permutations (nachos, tostadas, etc.). They also have a mini-taco stand and make their own salsas. I honestly don't believe that Toronto couldn't support such a place (they sell their products at their location on St. Laurent and also wholesale to other retailers - grocery stores and restaurants).

            If this is giving anyone any ideas, speak now.

          2. katexas Apr 2, 2007 10:21 AM

            Loblaws at Bayview has a decent supply of HERDEZ brand chiles and salsas.

            I've gotten corn tortillas from a few places (even No Frills on Avenue) but also at St. Lawrence Market. There is a guy who has a stand at the salsa booth on the lower level (and has samples on Saturdays) who sells authentic salsas under the name "Mad Mexican", I'd recommend trying that.

            3 Replies
            1. re: katexas
              Kagemusha Apr 2, 2007 01:44 PM

              Those "authentic"(sic) SLM salsas are IMHO no better than the canned San Marcos or Herdez varieties available at Loblaws. With respect, credible DIY salsas are easy now that ingredients are easier to find across the GTA.

              1. re: katexas
                pedigri Dec 20, 2007 03:38 PM

                Hi Kegemusha:

                I am a native from Mexico city and I find the Salsas from Mad Mexican one of the best salsas I've ever tried, the guy even wakes up at 4 am (or something like that) to make his guacamole fresh every morning! I dunno what kind of Mexican fare have you tried before, but for example, I would never eat an Herdez or San Marcos Salsas. (you can just taste the preservatives in there, yuc...)
                Anyway, go and to talk to the guy, he seems to know what his doing.

                1. re: pedigri
                  Kagemusha Dec 21, 2007 07:41 AM

                  So do I and I don't need to endure SLM for salsa and guacamole, thanks.I've eaten and made this stuff for years. My dear old Chicano tias in Phoenix showed me the ropes on salsa, so I'm not lacking for reference points. This guy's wares are acceptable but not worth a letter home about. Glad you like it.

              2. l
                lucywinchester Apr 2, 2007 06:51 PM

                I always enjoy a trip to Perola Supermarket on Augusta in Kensington Market. They have all kinds of peppers and beans and tortillas out front - fresh cactus too - and inside one can find hotsauces and all manner of canned goods. The store is small - and packed!

                1. i
                  itryalot Apr 3, 2007 01:53 PM

                  Start looking for recipes to make these things myself.
                  I can do salsa and guacomole myself. I was even looking for seasonings. Bought herdez, but not the same. Maybe the sun and sand has something to do with it.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: itryalot
                    ekammin Dec 20, 2007 06:52 PM

                    I have my doubts about completely authentic corn tortillas. In Mexico, these are usually made in tortillerias without any form of preservative, and will go stale within a day if not eaten (seemingly, a rare occurence). All the tortillas I have seen here, including all you see on the table at a place like Perola, have preservatives added. These will last, in an acceptable degree of freshness, for weeks in your freezer, but, IMHO, lack the soft texture and flavour of the real thing.

                    You can, of course, make them yourself, if you don't mind making a mess with a bag of masa, a comal, and a tortilla press.

                    1. re: ekammin
                      janeh Dec 20, 2007 07:39 PM

                      mexgrocer.com is a good resource

                      1. re: ekammin
                        Jar May 22, 2008 10:56 AM

                        Mexican women do buy fresh tortillas. Very early in the morning, we found a small mall away from the tourists, the stores were not open. In the middle of the parking lot was a tortilleria and the women were lined up about 30 in a single row with their own cloth to wrap the purchase. Authentic tortillas indeed! A P.S., a large Tops Supermarket has a large area in the store where they do make both corn and flour tortillas!

                    2. f
                      foodiemommy Dec 21, 2007 11:17 AM

                      i haven't been in myself but i hear a lot of good things about mex-i-can foods on james st. n. in hamilton. they make tortillas on site.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: foodiemommy
                        ekammin Dec 21, 2007 11:35 AM

                        I have been there - they are, IMHO, a very good reason to move from Toronto to Hamilton. Their tortillas do, I think, contain preservatives, but are very good, close to the real thing.

                        Any Mexican food lover who finds him- or herself close to Hamilton should definitely pay them a visit.

                      2. m
                        mmacdon6 May 22, 2008 10:21 AM

                        La Tortilleria is a brand new tortilleria that recently opened at 68 Wales Ave near Kensington Market. They make fresh authentic tortillas and tacos. I haven't been yet but can't wait to go. Check out this Star article on it:


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mmacdon6
                          Manybears May 22, 2008 10:32 AM

                          There's also a thread about it on here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/508128

                          1. re: mmacdon6
                            Davwud May 23, 2008 04:41 AM

                            I dropped by a couple weeks ago but it was before they were open. I talked to the owner and he gave me about 20 day old tortillas. They were fantastic. He appologized for them not being fresh but they were certainly worth every penny I paid for them.

                            KM isn't convenient for me for lunch so I may have trouble getting there at that time.


                          Show Hidden Posts