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Salsa by davebenjamin. Ingredients you'll find in New Mexico salsa.

Azúcar! ~ Celia Cruz

Maybe I should say, Picante!

Since we’re not hearing from the late great singer of salsa, Celia Cruz, but Lisa Asel. Her family founded the Ol’ Gringo Chile Co in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Over the decades, Ol’ Gringo has produced some 70 varieties of salsas and sauces discriminating native New Mexicans love.

So, yes, Lisa knows salsa.

For expert tips on buying New Mexico salsa with a taste that makes you want to sing ~  watch the video, then read on:

What makes a great jalapeño salsa? 
It depends on your taste. Some like a roasted jalapeño, some like it boiled. Some people like onions, some people don’t. Cilantro seems to be something you either love or you hate ~ I love it.

It takes all different kinds of heat levels. Snake Bite, a hotter salsa we make for Santa Fe Grill has over 100 pounds of jalapeño in a 40-gallon pot.

What makes a great chile salsa? A native New Mexican will never buy chile in a can because it doesn’t have that good roasted flavor. They buy it roasted, in a jar, or fresh in the summer, have it roasted, bag it up and freeze it for the year.

The same thing happens to jalapeños ~ roasting gives them a phenomenal flavor not even comparable to a boiled jalapeño. So I came out with a roasted jalapeño salsa I called New Mexico Gold, because I thought I struck gold!

Ol' Gringo's New Mexico Salsa and New Mexico Gold.

What is your favorite way to eat salsa? On tacos, burritos . . . chips and salsa.

What is your top farmer’s market shopping tip? I probably went four or five times last summer. We buy in such bulk, everything gets delivered on a truck. So if I’m going, it’s for personal reasons . . . I’m buying a breakfast burrito and routing around.

What is your top must-have in the kitchen? Garlic salt. It fixes a multitude of errors. If you don’t have garlic salt in your kitchen you probably can’t fix dinner!

What is your favorite afternoon ritual? You might laugh but two or three times a week when I get off work I head to the gym for an hour. I like to work out and it makes you feel better. I go home, grab a bite to eat, and veg out for a while.

What is the “número uno” place you haven’t been yet but want to go? Italy ~ because I’ve seen movies that showed unbelievable landscapes and the food looked phenomenal!

+++++++++++++++ Many thanks to Lisa for the interview!+++++++++++++++

Know you’re rushing out for garlic salt, but before you go . . .

Is your salsa preference jalapeño, chile (red or green), or something else?

Click HERE for more info about Ol’ Gringo’s salsas and sauces.

Ol' Gringo Chile Company, a New Mexico salsa maker.