Whether it?s steaming hot street cart elotes or a warm, fresh stack of homemade corn tortillas topped with guacamole and queso fresco, I love me some Mexican food. Which makes sense, since I come from the United States. The U.S. is so close to Mexico, we are lucky enough to be blessed with their amazing cuisine. In my hometown of Chicago alone, supermercados abound, taquerias are on practically every corner and are a welcome sight for the 4am drunk munchies, and of course, who could forget the Maxwell Street Market every weekend, home to some of the best tamales this lady has ever tasted. Even in the major national grocery store chains like Jewel, you will find a decent representation of Mexican ingredients at your disposal. Salsa recently topped ketchup as the number one condiment in America! It’s almost impossible to ignore the Mexican influences on food in the United States. Now that I have lived in another country, I realized this is not only common in the United States. A nation?s cuisine is often influenced by countries that surround it, and Australia is no exception. Australia is close to many other countries, like the Pacific Islands (some 20,000-30,000 islands!) and Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, etc. So it was not a surprise to learn how much Asian ingredients have influenced Australian food, especially modern Australian food, known as Mod Oz. Now, there is plenty of British influence on the food, considering Australia was started as a prison for British convicts, but Asian influences cannot be denied. One of the most popular condiments here is sweet chili sauce, and just like Mexican food can be found readily in American grocery stores, so can Asian ingredients in Australian grocery stores. So where the hell am I going with all of this gobbledegook? There is NO MEXICAN FOOD IN AUSTRALIA. And that is NOT ok with me. Oh sure, there are a total of two Mexican restaurants in Adelaide, but one is called Burp Taco (um, no.) and the other slops ground beef on a flour tortilla with soupy tomatoes that they pretend is called salsa. That is NOT ok with me. So praise the lord or the goat god or whatever the hell you worship, because I finally stumbled upon a Mexican store in Norwood, a town a short bus ride away from Adelaide. Bienvenidos a la tienda de Chile Mojo! Chile Mojo is known for their massive collection of hot sauce, so I wasn?t terribly surprised to see this:
They also had a small but respectable collection of canned tomatillos, chili peppers, and dried peppers of every sort?poblano, pasilla, you name, they have it. Black beans! Oh, how I?ve missed you, my friend!
My favorite part was the freezer case?there I found frozen packets of homemade Mexican treats like salsa verde and Mexican chorizo! Now, I?ll be honest, this chorizo doesn?t hold a candle to the real Mexican chorizo, bright red, and spicy, but it was a start. I ended up getting a pack of shredded chicken with salsa verde that made some killer enchiladas.
And this?a giant tortilla press! Apparently, they make their own tortillas here, but the machine was not on the day I went.
All in all, I was quite happy with my find. Its not supermercado, but hey, it is certainly beats Burp Taco. I was never really a fan of eating at restaurants named after body functions anyways☺ Here’s my bounty: