Herbs and spices
- Written by Rob Galloway
Hoja Santa or Piper auritum is a Mexican herb of which the fresh leaves are commonly used to wrap Tamales or to provide flavor to soups such as Pozole and sauces such as Mole Verde. Hoja Santa leaves grow up to a foot or more in size and are quite tough so are not suited for use in salads. When cooked Hoja Santa leaves retain their color and flavour which is said to be reminiscent of aniseed with a hint of black pepper.
To use Hoja Santa as a wrapper you need cut down either side of the vein in the center of the leaf and then wrap the sides around ingredients such as fish, fish, chicken or cheese. The wrapped ingredients are then baked or steamed and the leaves are eaten along with the filling.