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Sep 13, 2007 08:17 PM

Where can I find "aji"/mexican spices?

A Peru chicken recipe calls for aji, does anyone know of a store in the GTA? I'm in the North York area but I'd travel downtown/Scarb/Missisauga for it if I have to. Thanks for your help!

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    1. re: HarryLloyd

      I don't see it on the list of spices offered but you can try calling The Spice Trader ( 805 Queen West) and see if they can order some for you.

    2. Aji, I think, is a type of pepper. I've also seen it in a puree form in a jar. It's fairly medium in terms of heat. The dry version will probably have a bit more of a smokey taste.

      For the dried, try Perola's supermarket on Augusta. For the puree, I think many of the south American stores on Augusta might have it, or I recall seeing it in one of the small places on Nassau, north side, east of Augusta.

      1. You wouldn't happen to be reading this month's Gourmet would you, the one about Latin American cuisine? I'm looking for Mexican spices too. In particular, epazote.

        3 Replies
        1. re: gnuf

          Dried epazote and other mexican herbs and spices also available at Perola's. Best to use Mexican for Mexican recipes, as the flavours are quite different (ie oregano).

          1. re: gnuf

            That's a great issue. I'm also on the hunt for mexican spices as well after reading that issue.

            1. re: gnuf

              Replying to my own post, I found the following items in a store in the basement of St. Lawrence Market owned by an Asian family (they sell canned goods, bulk items, chocolate, a lot of imported stuff):

              - dried epazote
              - chipotles in adobo sauce
              - dried pasilla, ancho, piquin, mulato and morita chiles
              - annatto/achiote seeds

            2. For some reason, there are 2 identical threads on this topic. Here's what I posted in the other thread. Since you're interested in the North York area, that's where these places are:
              There are some South/Central American restaurants on Wilson, between Keele and Dufferin--Chilean and San Salvadoran. There's probably a grocery store in that area too. There's a Central American/Mexican grocery on Keele, south of Lawrence on the west side. Maybe there.
              There's also a Mexican/Central Am. place on Bathurst north of Lawrence. She has a storefront take-out restaurant selling pupusas, burritos, quesadillas too.