MarketBasket: Mexican treats

DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
Posted: September 15, 2011

The Mexican presence in South Philadelphia has extended far beyond restaurants and the taqueria revolution. Stores for authentic freshly made retail ingredients, too, have found their way into 9th Street storefronts, adding a taste of the Mercado Mexicano to the Italian Market. Here are a few highlights worth seeking. - Craig LaBan

Tortilla mía

It smells like a Mexican village when corn masa tortillas are rolling hot off the conveyor belt at this corner tortilleria. Not only are the paper-wrapped stacks incredibly cheap (just $2 for two pounds!) they are, without a doubt, the best fresh tortillas I've tasted anywhere in this region. The bags of fried chips, with house red or green salsa, are even more addictive.

Fresh tortillas, $2 a kilo (about 2.2 pounds); chips ($3 for medium bag), Tortilleria San Roman, 951 S. 9th St., 267-507-9161; www.tortilleriasanroman.com

¡Ay, qué hot links!

Butcher Raul Aguilar brings a recipe from his native Puebla for this zesty fresh sausage, which he calls a longaniza variety of chorizo. With a cuminy flavor, a deep paprika orange hue, and four kinds of peppers (including guajillos and anchos), it has a spicy kick that's made it an understandable favorite ingredient for many local restaurants.

Mexican chorizo, $4.99 a pound, Los Amigos Meat Market, 927 S. 9th St., 215-625-0528.

Helado heaven

The ultimate cure for hot salsa overload is a cooling taste of the Mexican-style ice creams "imported" to South Philly's El Pueblo market from Kennett Square's artisan, La Michoacana. Try a scoop of something exotic - like mamey or tamarind or even corn (elote) - then add a dusting of cinnamon or chile powder for full effect.

Mexican ice cream, $1.25-$2.50, El Pueblo, 1148 S. 9th St., 215-462-0892.

 

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