XOXO, Salsa Girl

The Dish on All Things Salsa

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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