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Hoja santa

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Hoja santa
Scientific classification
P. auritum
Binomial name
Piper auritum

Piper sanctum[1]

Hoja santa (Piper auritum) is a herb with a heart-shaped velvety leaf. The name hoja santa means "sacred leaf" in Spanish language. It is also known as yerba santa,[2][3] hierba santa,[2] Mexican pepperleaf,[3] root beer plant,[4] and sacred pepper.[1]


The difficult taste of Hoja santa is not easy to describe. It has been compared to eucalyptus,[5][6] licorice,[4][7] sassafras,[2] anise,[3][8] nutmeg,[3] mint,[9] tarragon,[5] and black pepper.[3] The flavor is stronger in the young stems and veins.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Barlow, Prof. Snow (2003). "Sorting Piper names". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Miller, Mark Charles (1993). Coyote's Pantry: Southwest Seasonings and at Home Flavoring Techniques. Ten Speed Press. p. 70. ISBN 0898154944 . 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Katzer, Gernot (2000). "Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages - Mexican Pepperleaf (Piper auritum Kunth)". Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rolland, Jacques L. (2006). The Food Encyclopedia: Over 8,000 Ingredients, Tools, Techniques and People. Robert Rose. p. 326. ISBN 0778801500 . 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ingredient - Hoja Santa. The Washington Post. 2004-08-18. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  6. Pyles, Stephan (1999). New Tastes from Texas. Three Rivers Press. p. 214. ISBN 0609804979 . 
  7. Raichlen, Steven (2000). Steven Raichlen's Healthy Latin Cooking: 200 Sizzling Recipes from Mexico, Cuba, Caribbean, Brazil, and Beyond. Rodale Books. p. 26. ISBN 0875964982 . 
  8. Davidson, Alan (1999). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. p. 383. ISBN 0-19-211579-0 . 
  9. Nordin, Donna (2001). Contemporary Southwest: The Cafe Terra Cotta Cookbook. Ten Speed Press. p. 19. ISBN 1580081800 .