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How To Find Authentic Ingredients

From your local market to online stores, it's easy to find what you need.

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Mexican Ingredients

Mexican Products

Mercado
Shop online
You can get almost anything from specialty on-line stores with the exception of fresh produce. Most of them specialize in Mexican ingredients and wares and will most likely provide the most authentic ingredients possible. MexGrocer is a great place to start. Another good online source is Gourmet Sleuth. You will be able to find everything from spices, to utensils and cookware.

Neighborhood market
You should be able to find the basics such as rice, beans and cuts of meat at your smaller neighborhood grocery stores. Depending on the community they may have specialty ingredients available as well such as canned chiles, dried chiles, spices, chile sauce and more.

Major grocery store chains
Due to increasing demand, most large grocery store chains now have Hispanic food sections. They may include a wide variety of spices, beans, chiles (powdered or canned) as well as pre packaged juices, sodas, candies and desserts.

If you can't find a certain ingredient, ask the grocery manager to order it for you. Most stores are happy to do this for their customers.

Hispanic markets
Check your neighborhood or the yellow pages for a "Carniceria," which is a meat market or a "Panaderia" which is a Mexican bakery. Some Mexican markets will have a "Tortilleria" where they make fresh tortillas.

Look for markets named after Mexican cities or states. Such as "La Michoacana Market" or "Market Sinaloa." Also look for Spanish words in the name, such as "cocina" or "Mexicana."

Hispanic markets will have your traditional ingredients as well as authentic Mexican items. You will be able to find different types and brands of masa harina, chiles, spices, machaca, chorizo and more.

Local specialty stores
Gourmet specialty stores sometimes carry a small selection of Mexican ingredients. They are sometimes American versions of Mexican ingredients so check labels before you buy.

Farmers market
Farmers markets are wonderful sources for fresh produce. Depending where you live they may also have specialty Mexican ingredients from a variety of fresh chiles to churros.

Ask a friend
Put the word out that you are looking for some authentic Mexican ingredients. Chances are someone you know may have had the same dilemma and may have already found a supplier. Or you may get word of a Hispanic market you may be unaware of.

*If you would like to learn how to cook Mexican cuisine, sign up for the E-course- Beginners Guide to Cooking Mexican Cuisine and find out about the history of Mexican food as well as learning to cook some authentic recipes. This 6-day course is delivered directly to your e-mail inbox.

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