Adventures in El Rancho Supermercado

Pacaya Palm

I got a new grocery store in my neighborhood and it’s called El Rancho Supermercado and let me tell you, it is indeed SUPER. I love anyplace where you can buy wedding cakes, tacos, and aguas frescas all in the same spot. Also, cactus juice, pulpos frescos, and a hundred kinds of dried chiles are available. Also, they have fresh chorizo in the meat case and they shape it to look like a hog head. Pretty awesome.

Anywayzzz, on a whim, and as I am apt to do, I picked up a jar of something called pacaya palm. It looked like a jar of tentacles, but after an internet search I learned it’s just some kind of flower part from a palm tree. WAY less exciting. J/K.

If you ever find you some, try this salad I came up with. Pacaya palm reminds me in texture of baby corn, and in flavor of hearts of palm, only slightly bitter. It’s complimented here by the lime juice and salty pepitas.


Pacaya Palm Salad

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Pacaya Palm is an unusual ingredient, found in Hispanic or Latino markets with the jarred and canned vegetables

  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 16 ounce jar pacaya palms, drained
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Layer palm, onion, and cilantro in a shallow bowl.
  2. Pour lime juice over.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a small skillet.
  4. Fry pumpkin seeds with sliced jalapeño, chili powder and salt until puffed and golden – about 30-60 seconds.
  5. Pour hot oil and seeds over salad.
  6. Serve.


I bet this would also be a great way to prepare hearts of palm.

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  1. J. del Corro on January 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    This looks insanely good. The pacaya palm is beautiful. I miss the mercados!

    • Hilah on January 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      It was really good! I love the mercados, dude. I can spend an hour in there easily looking around, plus another hour trying everything at the taqueria.

  2. Randy on January 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Where is El Rancho Supermercado? Is it comparable to MT Supermarket in size and scope but for Hispanic goods instead?

    • Hilah on January 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      It’s at the corner of Berkman Drive and Hwy 290, used to be a Randall’s there. It’s pretty comprehensive, not as big as MT but they do have killer aguas frescas. This is the place I found the manzano chiles for that salsa I made over the summer. Lots of interesting jarred products, too.

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