Find kitsch curios and essential ingredients at Melbourne’s stores for premium Mexicana
Aztec distributes to restaurants all over Melbourne. Most of their 300 products are nigh-unpronounceable, so you know they’re the real deal, and there’s all the cooking equipment you’d need, too – nary a tin of Old El Paso or Kraft in sight. It’s a wee bit out of the way, but if you’ve just dropped your mother-in-law off at the airport, drop by and celebrate with some genuine Mexican cuisine. 8A Adina Ct, Tullamarine.
Casa Ibérica lives up to its name as Melbourne’s Home of Spanish, Portuguese and Latino food. The bustling corner store is a one-stop shop for Latin American cooking. Lunchtime finds the deli counter shoulder-to-shoulder with people ordering handmade sandwiches with jamon and cheese. It’s also home to Melbourne’s best Portuguese custard tart, but get in early as they sell out fast! 25 Johnston St , Fitzroy.
Ricardo Amare wants to bring the real Mexico to Melbourne. You’ve already read about his restaurant Señoritas, but you’ll find a distillation of his love of all things Mexibourne (that’s right, we went there) in his gallery. It’s packed with art, jewellery and fashion, all eye-searingly vibrant. Shop 5, 159 Williams Rd, Hawksburn.
Every day is Dia de los Muertos at this Gertrude Street store. Amor y Locura means Love and Madness: this store veers toward the latter. Their wonderfully morbid selection of folk art and craft is a highlight, alongside beautiful antique furniture, collectibles, and, of course, religious icons. They aren’t cheap, but at the very least you can pick up a knickknack. Added bonus: you may be served by Mesa Cosa’s frontman, Pablo. 77 Gertrude St, Fitzroy.
Online store Fireworks Foods has a brainmelting selection of everything spicy. Alongside the Merciless Peppers of Quetzaltenango you can find the infamous Mad Dog hot-sauce range and old favourites like ‘Anal Angst’ and ‘Rectum Ripper’. Oh, and they have a huge range of tortillas, chips, sweets, drinks, and piñatas straight from the source. They don’t have a store in Melbourne, but jump online – they’ve got nationwide shipping. 0432 507 521.