You’ll need a garden-fresh salsa to elevate heat and pull out hidden flavors in your favorite tacos. Although the likely partner for salsa is typically a batch of tortilla chips, it can also serve as a condiment, salad dressing, marinade, cooked stew and even a helpful ingredient for pizza. Thankfully, Cleveland is home to a variety of local salsa vendors that are implementing unique methods to keep their recipes as clean, fresh and all-natural as possible without compromising on flavor. Here are three you’ll love.
Gourmet Firehouse Salsa’s Mandarin Orange Salsa ($6.99-$7.99). Retired Avon Lake firefighter and owner Angelo Tetorakis curated the mandarin orange salsa with so much versatility, chips and tacos won’t be the only thing you’ll be adding this refreshing salsa to. Tetorakis recommends using the salsa as a sweet marinade for salmon, a topping for melted brie and even a zing of flavor in yogurt or cottage cheese. “It’s compatible with a lot of different foods,” he says. Try pairing it with sauteed shrimp, shredded lettuce and shredded cabbage in a taco shell for a cool summer dish. “The people who try it really like it,” says Tetorakis. “It’s getting more popular these days.” 440-522-1671, gourmetfirehousesalsa.com
Sidekicks Salsa’s Hot Salsa ($4.99-$5.99). You’ll Need A Cold Beer Extra Hot Salsa was the original name for this bad boy before co-founders Jessie Green, Danny Soza and Vanessa Whiting decided to simplify it. And while the name may be shorter, this citrus-based salsa still packs quite the punch of heat. To keep sodium content at a low and fresh flavor at a high, this salsa is based on a reduction method and a backbone of three different hot peppers. The high heat of the habaneros, consistency of the jalapenos and the long-lasting finish of bird’s eye chiles combine to create a deliciously fresh and heat-quenching flavor. “When you eat our hot salsa, you get a green flavor that bursts and lasts in your mouth,” says Green. “It’s a delicious combination.” 216-839-9055, sidekickssalsa.com
Willy’s Fresh Salsa’s Black Bean ’N Corn Salsa ($3.99). If tomato-based salsas aren’t your forte but you still want to enjoy an added kick to your meals, this black bean and corn salsa is your match made in salsa heaven. Made from natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives, this combination is so hearty and flavorful it can be enjoyed on its own; just use a tortilla chip as a vehicle. “It’s not your typical tomato-style salsa,” says chief operating officer Dave Cole. The nutrient-dense salsa comes from a 40-year-old family recipe that’s also best paired with veggie tacos or in a homemade breakfast burrito. “Our salsa is a lot smoother than most salsas you see on the market,” says Cole. 419-823-3200, willyssalsa.com