Salsa – the word means “sauce” in Spanish, and can refer to almost any combination of ingredients that is used to dress other ingredients. The power of salsa is that it can enhance, improve and bring out flavors in other dishes or it can be a delectable dip for chips or vegetables.
However, it can even be more. Ximena F. Guerra and Jorge L. Guerra are from Colombia. They currently live in Texas. When Ximena moved to the U.S., she discovered that she could not use her psychology credentials in the United States. So she turned to a second love: that of cooking. She created the Colombian Salsa Criolla and Salsa Criolla Caliente to blend culinary flavors from Colombia and Peru. She remembers buying ingredients from street venders in Cali, Colombia, where the fruits and vegetables are sold on the same day they are picked. “Criolla” translates as “homemade.”
Ximena’s salsas are fat free, gluten free and nut free – three important things for many diners. However, they are packed with flavor – some of which derives from flavors that come directly from her homeland. An important ingredient in Salsa Criolla Caliente is the Peruvian Aji Amarillo pepper. It has a unique sweet flavor combined with a hot, hot, hot flavor that rates at 30,000 units on the Scoville Heat Scale! Her salsas are made from fresh ingredients, using no preservatives – another plus for many American diners.
But the power of these two salsas is not only in their unique and utterly delicious taste. The Guerras buy the Aji Amarillo peppers from Colombian farmers. As you no doubt are aware, Colombia has been the arena for heavy military and political conflicts that revolve around the growth and sale of coca plants. Purchasing the Aji peppers from the home of her childhood enables Ximena to make a difference. She buys the peppers from growers who are paid a decent wage for their product, enabling them to pay their workers a good living wage for growing food instead of coca. It creates a viable, exportable crop that enables families to earn a real living that is not associated with a product that has been responsible for conflict. The plantations are overseen by agricultural engineers, using modern agrarian methods that do not rely on pesticides or other damaging agricultural practices. Now that is one powerful little pepper!
The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to support Salsa Criolla will provide funds to fill existing orders, including the purchase of more Aji peppers. It will enable automated production of the salsas to ensure consistency of ingredients, packaging and volume for each item. The product has already been approved by FDA, and the Salsa Criolla brand has been trademarked.
This powerful little salsa just needs a boost from you, crowdfunding fan. Of course, rewards for your contribution are containers of Salsa Criolla. A pledge of $20 puts your name in the pot for two bottles – either one of each flavor, or two of one flavor. You can contribute less, and receive the usual thank you. Or you can contribute more and receive distinctive extras, such as a chef’s hat and apron with the Salsa Criolla logo. Best of all, you could be helping people develop better lives. Yes, that is the power of salsa.