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looking for authentic Mexican herbs in Denver or substitutions

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I've been to Avanza, but I couldn't find what I'm looking for: hoja (or yerba) santa. Got some cookbooks and they call for the herb fairly regularly and they said I could find it in any Hispanic market. I figured Avanza would have it, since it's the biggest - alas, no. I don't need the whole leaf, just the herb for seasoning.

No luck at Savory spice shop.

Can I substitute anise for it in smaller quantity? Or some eucalyptus leaves? I read that fennel fronds could work in a pinch...

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Avanza
1320 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

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  1. Don't know about Denver but the Fruiteria on the corner of Bluff and 29th. in Boulder has a huge
    selection of dried Mexican spices and herbs.....
    Pablo

    1. Look for it fresh, I have never seen it dried. I have bought it in denver, but I have also gone to pick some up and not been able to find it, not sure if it is seasonal or just an inconsitent supply.

      In general, when looking for more obscure latin american ingredients, skip Avanza which does not have a great selection. Try out Rancho Liborio's produce section. Or, Azteca on colfax in aurora. I think I saw it recently at the little groccery between home depot and whole foods in Glendale on Colorado boulevard, but it is a small place, so would not go out of the way to check it. I would try calling ahead.

      Dried Avocado Leaves can be a sub in some recipes, and are a great ingredient on their own.

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      Avanza
      1320 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

      Azteca
      2462 N Old Mill Loop, Coeur D Alene, ID 83814

      5 Replies
      1. re: nateco

        Thanks nateco! Actually, the little grocery on Colorado Blvd is 5 minutes from my house, so I'll check it out. And thanks for the info on Avanza. For its size, I was disappointed with the selection.

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        Avanza
        1320 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

        1. re: steelykal

          Rancho Liborio has the best produce selection of the Mexican markets I've been to, and they have a far better butcher/fish selection than Avanza IMO.

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          Avanza
          1320 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

          1. re: MyNameIsTerry

            Thanks Terry - Location? I did find the herb in dried form at the small Mexican grocery on Colorado Blvd near Whole Foods. But their produce section was lacking, to put it mildly.

            1. re: steelykal

              It's on Colfax, just past Avanza from 225. 10400 E Colfax.

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              Avanza
              1320 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

              1. re: steelykal

                there are a few Rancho 'Lborios in town, google for addreesses, they are all ptetty much the same. They also have awesome freshly fried tortilla chips!

                the market off colorado is just a neighborhood market, but handy if you are close, their fajitas mix isadictive, citrusy with anchiote, not tex mex.