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,
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).