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The hoja santa (Piper auritum) is a deep green herb used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. It is heart-shaped and has a strong aroma. It belongs to the black pepper family. It is cultivated and produced in warm to temperate climates.
In gastronomy, it is commonly used in the preparation of meat, fish, poultry, sauces, broths and cheeses. In addition, its pungent smell is used in the flavouring of tamales, chiles rellenos and mole verde, traditional Mexican dishes.