South American goodies

by Forager on March 23, 2009

I’ve had pozole blanco on the brain. It’s a delicious pork and hominy stew that I first had back in my uni days at Azteca’s, a Mexican restaurant in Randwick, near UNSW. I still remember the taste of that stew and it was the first time I’d tried hominy, which are corn kernels treated to remove the husks. I had to recreate it! But first – I had to find myself some hominy. An extensive internet search for hominy in Sydney yielded no results. Calling all the specialty food stores near me also yielded nothing. Getting desperate and stubborn in my search for hominy, I figured that South American cuisine would also use hominy and remembered a Chilean friend of mine telling me there was a significant South American contingent out in Fairfield, a small suburb in Sydney’s western suburbs neighbouring Cabramatta and Canley Vale.

So off I drove to Fairfield in search of South American groceries that would stock the elusive hominy. I ended up at Tierras Latinas, a grocery that specialises in goods from all over South America. It’s hard to miss this store as there are numerous national soccer – sorry – football jerseys hanging in the store window. The store itself isn’t large, but it stocks a decent array of South American goods, importantly it has hominy! Now the only issue was deciding between the 800g can or the enormous 3kg one. Gee, it must be a popular ingredient in South American cuisine.

Armed with an assortment of goodies I waddle back to my car when I spot Patagonia, a South American ice creamery. Given I’ve just driven 30km for what was essentially a can of corn, I think I’ve earnt my ice cream. Surprisingly the only flavour that sounds exotic or South American is the flavour named “South American cream”. It didn’t sound particularly appetising to me so I went with the tried and true lemon and strawberry. My parents were along for the exploration and my dad gets the mango flavour. The mango is quite watery and weak in flavour but the lemon and strawberry are delicious.

I’m keen to explore more South American stores but it’s a Sunday, and unlike nearby Cabramatta and Canley ValeFairfield is quiet and fairly deserted as most of the stores are closed. It’s a shame because around the corner from the grocery and ice creamery there is a South American cake store – but it’s closed. I resolve to come back another day, possibly on a Saturday to explore the South American area properly – and as there are plenty of Vietnamese, Chinese and Lebanese stores too – there’s plenty to explore. which are bustling on Sundays,


Tierras Latinas
Shop 1/57 Smart Street, Fairfield (02)9723 4446

Patagonia Ice Cream and Cafe

55 Smart Street, Fairfield (02)9755 0290

>Foodie in the know:
I’ve since discovered that hominy is also available at The Essential Ingredient at Crows Nest and at some specialty Fijian stores in Newtown (thanks to tips from fellow Twitterers).

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella March 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Hehe which jar did you get? The 800g or the 3kg? 30kms for a can of corn? Must be a food blogger 😛

2 Lisa May 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm

hey hey, welcome to my neck of the woods. you were within walking distance of my house! I love Patagonia, the dulce de leche icecream is unbelievable.

3 Forager May 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Hey Lorraine – Oops! Apologies for the late reply! If it weren’t for Lisa’s comment I wouldn’t have noticed yours. I got the smaller can (not surprisingly ;P) – wouldn’t know what to do with 3kg of hominy, wouldn’t have a pot large enough and wouldn’t know how to store unused hominy. Those Sth Americans must cook pork and hominy stews to feed entire villages at a time!

Hey Lisa – I definitely plan to go back and explore on a Saturday. Do you have any other recommendations for the area? Where to eat is important! 😀

4 Lisa May 17, 2009 at 6:09 pm

There’s not really all that many places to eat around here unfortunately! It’s a shame but it keeps me in the kitchen trying new things haha. Your best bet is probably Cabramatta. The cake shop you mentioned is pretty good, shame it was closed.

5 Glenda Pontes November 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Thank you so much for doing the search and review, I have been searching for hominy for years and had just about given up!
In Brazil around June they have winter parties and use hominy to make a version of rice pudding (with hominy instead of rice) using lots of cinnamon sticks, lemon rind and allspice (and of course sugar!)
I have never been to Fairfield but will now definitely go out there to check out all these goodies!
And great to hear Patagonia has dulce de leche ice cream (can’t wait to try – I love dulce de leche and always make it at home).
I wonder if Tierra Latinas has Catupiry cheese (a must try!!)

Thank you soooo much again, and all the best!

6 Sam November 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Theres a south american grocery store in ashfiled that just opened up, its called tienda latina

There. Ph: 8957 2869

7 Adrian Mason June 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm

If you’re ever out East check out ‘Bondi Rumba’ for some amazing latin tapas & cocktails! Going on a ltin food hunt in fairfield now ive read this blog gracias!

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