Friday, August 5, 2011
Who's a Salsa Snob?!?
I think we all have a certain snack food in our life that just brings us such pleasure and joy that there can be no substitute for it, anything else would just be a complete let down! For some it may be the creamy, sweet taste of chocolate (Did you know the average American eats 12 lbs. of chocolate a year?). While for
others it could be the icy cold, sweet creaminess of ice cream (The United States is the top consuming country of ice cream in the world!). Still others it could be the salty crunchiness of potato chips or pop corn (16.9 lbs of chips a year are eaten by the average American!). Then with that certain food we cherish, we have a flavor or brand that gives us huge smiles when we think of it. What is your food of complete and utter joy?!?
The food that brings me complete and utter joy is tortilla chips and salsa! Between the saltiness and crunch of the tortilla chip and the coolness and spiciness of the salsa…..what could give more pure joy! And who would complain if you added an icy cold Margarita to the mix?!?! My first fond memory of tortilla chips and salsa come from a little restaurant in Tempe, Az. called La Fonda’s. It is still there and I make it a must stop destination whenever I get the chance to visit Phoenix. Their delicious homemade salsa is still the same as from when I was a teenager and they still have the great fresh fried tortilla chips to go with it! To say the least it is a very happy memory for me(plus their food is great too!!!)! Through the years my love of tortilla chips and salsa has grown and grown. I love my tortilla chips and salsa many different ways…with individual dipping items such as sour cream, guacamole, melted cheese and refried beans. One of my favorite ways to enjoy tortilla chips is when they are used to make Nachos and I am not talking about just any Nachos. I am talking about the Nachos from Roberto’s Taco Shop….to die for!! The combination of tortilla chips, refried beans, carne asada, tomatoes, onions, cheese, sour cream, guacamole and great tasting salsas is beyond a food lover’s heaven!! ( they also have other great tasting food!) While I do love all the wonderful toppings that can go with tortilla chips and salsa, I have to say I love them best all by themselves. I have tried many salsas over the years and there have been a few awesome salsas, some good salsas and also some pretty nasty tasting ones too!! One thing I have found for sure, is I do not like vinegar in my salsa. To me it just gives it a funky tatse. Needless to say that knocks out the majority of bottled salsas (honestly the only jar salsa I like and will buy is Herdez). I also do not like my salsa to be sweet. Now I don’t mean I don’t like sweet salsas, it’s just that for me, the sweet needs to come from fruits, such as mango or pineapple and not sugar. But by far my favorite salsas are homemade ones. I love to see freshly made salsas at a restaurant or a gathering at someone’s home. I have a longtime friend that makes some pretty darn good salsas, with her Peanut Salsa being a top-notch choice. I have tried to replicate it many times and while mine is good, it just can’t compare to hers! Also 2 of my daughters make some awesome salsas. They definitely know what they are doing. But when it comes down to it all, the salsa I find myself craving over and over again is my own home made salsa. I get such joy each time I make a batch and love sharing it with my family and friends. My favorite part of making it is when it all blended up and I first pour it into the bowl. There is still the warmth from the cooking of the tomatoes and jalapenos, along with the crunch of the freshly diced onions, the creaminess of a ripe avocado, along with the aroma of all the ingredients just being blended together…..for me, pure heaven!! That first dip of a chip and the savoring of all the wonderful flavors and textures gives me total and complete satisfaction!
Then there is the crunchy, salty tortilla chip used to scoop up all those wonderful flavors. Up until the last few years I was quite content with using bagged tortilla chips, even though I have a few brands that I like better than others. But in the past few years my taste buds have begun to snub the bagged brands. They want only fresh, home fried tortilla chips. My taste buds and my brain totally agree that fresh fried tortilla chips and fresh salsa are the best way to go!! The flavor of these freshly fried rectangles or strips, far outweighs anything that come out of a bag. Except if you are lucky enough like us to have a Mexican market that makes their own fresh tortillas and fry’s their own tortillas chips!! Love to use Cardena’s tortilla chips when I don’t have time to fry my own!
My taste in foods has changed and developed over the years and I definitely have a more refined palate then I did in my younger years. I have a finer appreciation of flavors and textures and have enjoyed broadening my horizons in my food tastes. But I think when it comes to tortilla chips and salsa I have become a Salsa/Tortilla Chip Snob…is that really such a bad thing?!?!? LOL Are you a Food Snob about anything? What is your Food Snob item of choice??