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betel leaf

y
yoyodyne Dec 28, 2011 10:52 AM

i'm looking for fresh betel leaves (la lot in vietnamese) for a vietnamese beef recipe. checked broadview chinatown and they don't have any. Anyone seen the leaf anywhere in the city?

  1. h
    Hondapendragon Dec 28, 2011 05:38 PM

    I think what your looking for is called "paan", in India. It's found in most East Indian groceries.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hondapendragon
      iMarilyn Dec 30, 2011 06:11 AM

      Betel leaf is in paan, but paan is a sort-of Pakistani "chewing tobacco". La lot (betel leaf) is an aromatic Vietnamese herb used in soup, etc.

    2. JonasBrand Dec 29, 2011 11:23 AM

      Head a bit further east on Gerrard to little india / pakistan, Paan will be easy to find.

      1. iMarilyn Dec 30, 2011 06:09 AM

        Have you tried the bigger Asian grocers on Spadina north of Dundas?

        3 Replies
        1. re: iMarilyn
          y
          yoyodyne Jan 2, 2012 12:10 PM

          I haven't checked Dundas/Spadina but will have a look. Perhaps a trip to T & T is in order as well.

          1. re: yoyodyne
            foodyDudey Jan 2, 2012 12:13 PM

            Why not go to Gerrard Street, where I am sure you will find them? I think someone mentioned that already

            1. re: foodyDudey
              y
              yoyodyne Jan 3, 2012 09:04 AM

              Gerrard and Broadview? I've looked through the supermarkets along gerrard and couldn't find it. Or at least nothing that looked like it.

        2. h
          HochMeister Aug 25, 2013 11:52 AM

          Paan is not simply Betel leaves. It has the areca nut inside (commonly incorrectly called a betel nut). The areca nut is a known to be highly carciogenic, causing not only oral cancers, but tumours in other locations of the body as well.

          As for the betel leaf itself, I can't speak on the issue.

          SE Asian has a very high rate of oral cancers, related to Paan consumption, as well as other cultural variations on the same theme.

          1. b
            bytepusher Aug 25, 2013 07:08 PM

            Just to be clear, Betel leaf and Lolot (lá lốt in Vietnamese) while very closely related are not exactly the same thing, they are in the same genus but they are two different species. (the plant we get black peppercorns from is also in the same genus)

            To make things even more confusing Lolot and another related plant with the latin name Piper sarmentosum are sometimes called "wild betel"

            Betel is also important culturally in Vietnam (especially in traditional wedding ceremonies) but for chewing not eating at least as far as I'm aware.

            So basically don't try to use true betel leaf in a recipe calling for lá lốt it won't work right.

            This thread reveals a source
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/857839

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