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Dec 9, 2011 01:51 PM

Rare Mexican Herbs?

Does anyone know where to get Hoja Santa in the Bay Area? Have found dried but can't manage to find the fresh.

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    1. Thanks Robert,

      I have already read this and it seems to be mostly speculation whether this herb is legal to sell in the US. I know it is legal because there is a cheese company that uses it in their products. Still no one is mentioning where to get it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Yamabushi

        Since this Mariquita Farms recipe uses Hoja Santa perhaps they can tell you where to get it.

      2. This is where I really miss "Eat Nopal" and "Kare Raisu" - they knew where to get really good Mexican food and food products - I learned about the Roseland district of Santa Rosa from them. There's a market there, I think Lola's - that carries all kinds of unusual Mexican veggies and herbs, both fresh and dried that I don't believe you'll find anywhere else. I believe I saw Hoja Santa leaves there - dried in cellophane bags (but this was a couple of years ago....)

        I've been in both stores but I think the one on Dutton might have a better selection of fresh veggies. The other store is newer and bigger.

        4 Replies
        1. re: RWCFoodie

          Dried hoja santa is relatively easy to find. Eat Nopal never found a reliable source for fresh around here:

          Lola's is good but I don't think it has anything you won't find at any other well-stocked Mexican supermarket.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            The key words are "well-stocked Mexican supernarket" - Redwood City has many well-stocked Mexican supermarkets but I honestly don't recall seeing fresh hoja santa leaves which I believe is what the OP was looking for...

            Actually, I don't even recall seeing dried and I even checked a few of the larger stores after this original post.

            1. re: RWCFoodie

              I've never seen fresh around here. By "relatively easy" I mean I've seen dried a few times. Yamaguchi reported finding it in the opening post.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              I'll differ with you there. Yes, 90% of supermercado inventory may be the same, but it's the 10% that differentiates them from each other and gives each a competitive niche.

              Here's a note from Eat Nopal:
              "I was notified that there is a thread on Chowhound Bay Area seeking fresh Hoja
              Santa leaves. If anybody wants them they are currently not in season but will
              be back in the early spring through late fall... when they are in season they
              can be purchased at both Lola's locations as well as Rancho Mendoza.

              Even better the people who grow them locally are Ortiz Bros. Farm.. that is the
              Oaxacan lady with the pretty flowers & vegetables at the Santa Rosa Saturday
              market (and other markets as well)... they grow a lot of the rare produce sold
              at Lola's as well to the Oaxacan-ish restaurant in Healdsburg... they don't sell
              the leaves at the farmer's market but I got my potted plant from them..

              Hoja Santa is pretty hardy & will take over your yard if happy.. keep it in a

              Ortiz Brothers sells at the Healdsburg and Santa Rosa farmers markets or you can go directly to the farm on fridays.

              Edited: Wanted to mention that there's a Lola's in Healdsburg now. It's a much smaller store than the two in Santa Rosa, located in the former Anstead's space on the south end of town.

          2. Cielito Lindo steams chicken in hoja santa leaves. You might call them and ask where they get them.


            Cielito Lindo
            1142 Main St, Napa, CA 94559