XOXO, Salsa Girl

The Dish on All Things Salsa

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Nothing wrong with a bit of elusiveness

I don’t think I’d be stretching my imagination – or my ego – to assume that you’ve all missed me dearly. I am not proud to state that I have done exactly what I promised myself I wouldn’t do on the last day of JMC305 class. I let my blog get ignored.

Luckily, I came around. Now, here I sit again in front of my beloved XOXO, Salsa Girl blog with a rejuvenated energy. I cannot event begin to articulate how far I have come since my last blog post. I completed that post on Nov. 13, 2012 and today is June 6, 2013.

A report on what I’ve been up to, in the briefest of ways possible: Bullet points…

  • I finished my sophomore year at ASU
  • I completed my first internship with SheKnows.com
  • I lived in an apartment for 10 months
  • I continued my relentless love for looking at pictures of food
  • I both established and maintained best-friendship with Laverne
  • I somehow acquired four jobs
  • I still bag groceries
  • I still eat salsa with a spoon

As it stands, I am not entirely sure how I’d like the future of this blog to play out. In theory, I’d like to upkeep some type of journaling whilst I am doing my thing here this summer, but realistically I think I can only spread my words so thin, and you all can only stand so much of me.

Please entertain yourselves howsoever you choose until I release the live link for you to view the newest addition to my online blogging portfolio. Details to come – but know (and you probably could guess this by now) that it is being created through partnership between me and another young woman and it does indeed have a gastronomical focus. Yes, gastronomical: my current favorite word. That and “underwhelmed.”


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It’s finally here…


Mitt Roastedchile vs. Barachipotle Obama

The Arizona Republic came out with their endorsements for candidates and ballot propositions for the general elections about a week ago. So, I too have decided to offer my readers (hi mom) my very own, exclusive XOXO, Salsa Girl 2012 Salselections endorsements.

Here are the candidates and propositions on my 2012 Salsa Ballot:

I voted a “best” in each of the following categories:

  • Store-bought salsa
  • Farmer’s market (local) salsa
  • Sit-down restaurant chip & salsa combination


  • BEST Store-bought salsa

I have single-handedly consumed around 12-15 jars of these just this school-year.

Sprouts Organic Fire Roasted and Chipotle salsas are both incredible. They both have alot to offer the economy of the salsa world, both work well with other foods. But when it truly comes down to the nitty-gritty taste-test, the Chipotle gets my vote.

  • BEST Farmer’s market (local) salsa

Rose Llanuza of Lil’ Sassy’s Salsa stands pridefully behind her table at the Ahwatukee Farmer’s Market

I remember growing up (and walking 10 miles in the snow uphill barefooted to school) and going to the farmers market or festivals and to get Lil’ Sassy’s Salsa. I boldly approached the woman behind my favorite hand-canned salsa a few weeks ago to learn more.

THRILLING BACKGROUND INFO ON LIL’ SASSY’S SALSA: owner Rose Llanuza kindly gave me the full rundown of how her flourishing salsa brand came to exist. It all started when she planted chile peppers in her backyard and a had a few too many. Llanuza then started experimenting with different recipes, chose the name Lil’ Sassy’s Salsa because “everything else was already taken,” and she’s been branding herself ever since.

“In Germany, everybody cans. It’s just what you do,” Llanuza said. While they may ‘can’ sauerkraut in Germany, this is Arizona and she ‘cans’ salsa like nobody’s business. Yes we can!

  • BEST Sit-down restaurant chip & salsa combination

House-made chips and salsa at Sam’s Cafe

In what was the hardest decision of all, I finally came to conclude that Sam’s Cafe at The Arizona Center has the #1 best chip and salsa combination. I interrogated waitress Sarah Becker about her chips and salsa. Sam’s Cafe makes both their chips and their salsa in-house.

 “Behind the scenes we call it ‘roja salsa,’ but to customers it has no name,” Becker said. I had to chuckle when she said this about their roasted red salsa. It’s true, customers don’t care if it has no name, they just want to eat.

THRILLING INSIDER SCOOP ON THEIR CHIPS AND SALSA: Their chips are incredible, too, because they are either seasoned with “New Mexico blacken seasoning” , sweet and spicy seasoning and powdered sugar (on the wonton–yes, wonton–chips ) or just salt (on the sweet potato chips). Becker also taught me that they let their salsa marinate for a whole day, and each batch takes two days to complete. 

Two-day marinated “Roja Salsa”

I love to catch waiters off-guard when I ask them about their chips and salsa. Nobody asks questions when the chips and salsa are free. Except for me. I want to be an informed voter, so I always get the scoop before I place my votes.

There you have it: The Official Salsa Girl 2012 Salselections.

I love this political system because no matter who wins, I get to eat salsa.


Salsa Girl

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The REAL Pico de Gallo

We have it all wrong.


My manager Fatima Gasca just informed me that pico de gallo is not what we think it is. Although she may be wrong, I trust her word about Mexican food.

Instead of the fresh and uncooked chunky tomato concoction we thought it to be, pico de gallo is actually a mixture of fruit, vegetables and citrus.

I’m sorry….WHAT?

I had no idea. I suppose I should have expected this was a potential. As a self-proclaimed Spanish speaker, I should have given the translation some extra thought. But instead, I just focused on eating it.

Fatima claims that the true pico de gallo, which actually translates from Spanish as “Rooster’s Beak” consists of:







-Chile Powder



You better believe I’m trying it soon.


Either way, I felt it was my moral obligation to let all of you know this so we can all take some time to reflect on our cultural mishap.



Salsa Girl