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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Spice up your life with these Tucson salsa brands

Rebecca Noble
Salsas from Chilttepica and Mouth of the South on sale the Food Conspiracy Co-Op on 4th Avenue on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016.

Tucson’s farmers markets, as well as specialty supermarkets, pride themselves on the variety of local products they carry.

But few local products represent Tucson and the Southwest more than the myriad of salsas created right here in the Old Puebla. Here are a few samples of Tucson’s salsas:

RELATED: Students should take advantage of Tucson’s many farmers markets where the food is affordable, local and always in season

Mouth of the South

At the farmer’s market on campus, local company Mouth of the South uses college humor to catch the attention of college students passing by.

“It wasn’t just spicy; you could taste all the flavors,” said Maytal Yachdav, a marketing sophomore who first visited the salsa booth at the UA Farmers Market then purchased the salsa at Food Conspiracy Co-op.

The company makes each batch of salsa in small quantities to ensure the flavor remains consistent.

The owner told Yachdav that by keeping the salsa jar, a refill of salsa would only cost $5 the next time.

Chilttepica Salsa

Another small business—Chilttepica Salsa—is making waves in big name wholesale stores. Gloria Badilla started the company as a provision to save her home after friends had recently lost theirs.

After searching for a commercial kitchen to host the operation, Badilla finally found a home to start making the homemade salsa.

“Tucson has been very supportive of our products,” Badilla said.

Badilla said she envisions her products on the shelves of Costco, and now four years later, Chilttepica Salsa is available in three Tucson Costco’s, as well as 10 other local grocery stores and co-ops.

The local family-run business uses the chiltepin chili as the primary source of heat.

“[Chiltepin] keeps their spiciness 98 percent of the time,” said Badilla, who prefers to use the chili because it has the capability to keep its level of heat.

Chiltepin was a very common ingredient in cooking, Badilla said who remembers tasting the chili in food made by her elders.

The future looks bright for Chilttepica, and Badilla one day hopes to see the homemade salsa in big grocery stores.

Poblano Hot Sauce, Inc.

Since 1924, Poblano Hot Sauce, Inc. has been providing the Tucson Community with homemade salsa.

Tammy Orantez’s grandfather started Poblano Hot Sauce, Inc. and the secret family recipe has passed through each generation.

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Orantez and her mother have been keeping up the family business, which was passed down from her father and grandfather.

“[We are] very strong about keeping it going,” Orantez said.

Poblano Hot Sauce, Inc. is available at Anita’s market, various Walmarts, Fry’s, Safeways and several meat markets in and around Tucson.

Every local salsa is unique in its own way. With so many options readily available, Tucson is limitless for every salsa connoisseur. Many companies offer shipping around the country for students craving the familiar Tucson flair back home.

Follow Chloe Raissen on Twitter.

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