Mexican and Central American Produce

Hoja Santa
This Mexican aromatic is often used whole, to wrap fish or meat for grilling. The leaves have a sweet, almost root beer-like aroma.
Hojas de Aguacate
The leaves of the avocado tree, often toasted and ground, lend an anise flavor to stewed black beans, tamales, and other dishes.
The mildly tart paddles of the prickly pear cactus have a slimy texture and, boiled and chopped, are popular in tacos, salads, and enchiladas.
More subtle than rosemary, this herb lends a lemony tang to stews and moles. The edible stem has a milder taste than the leaves.
Spiny Chayote
This fruit (which comes in a smooth-skinned variety too) has a zucchini-like taste and is often used in soups.
This sweet, crab apple-size winter fruit becomes tender when cooked. Tejocote is the main ingredient in ponche, a Mexican hot punch.
The fruit of the sapote tree (an unripe one is pictured) has a custardy texture and pumpkin-like flavor. It can be eaten out of hand as a snack.
Hojas del Mora
These leaves have a spinach-like taste. They can be steeped to make tea, used in moles and soups, or served sauteed.
This central Mexican herb, with its sprigs of tiny, broccoli-like flowers, has a sweet flavor and may be added to scrambled eggs and sauces.

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