The sauce flavor that started it all for SALSAOLOGY: Ancho Chile & Tamarind. Inspired by the flavors and ingredients of Jalisco, Mexico this vibrant and smoky sauce flavor is a crowd favorite and with good reason! Such a crowd favorite that the Speciality Food Association named it the 2018 Gold Sofi Winner for best marinade. In honor of National Sauce Month, we want to give you a closer look at some of the key ingredients in each of our classic sauce flavors, plus a little history about the region is was inspired by.
Where is Jalisco, Mexico?
Located in western Mexico, bordering the Pacific Ocean, Jalisco is a state made up of both diverse terrain and food. The Mexican state is known for mariachi music, tequila, famous regional dances, and, of course, well-known Mexican cuisine. Many consider the western state to be at the heart of the country’s culture.
Jalisco’s landscape varies from woods to beaches to plains and lakes-- making the state very fertile and giving it an economy based greatly on agriculture. With some of its top crops including corn, wheat, beans, sugarcane, and rice. As well as it being one of the country’s main producers of beef and pork, Jalisco is the birthplace of tequila. Named after the town of Tequila, Jalisco this beverage was first made from the blue agave cactus native to this area.
As we mentioned, Jalisco is known for being where several of well-known Mexican dishes were originated, including: pozole, birria, and tortas ahogadas. Jalisco’s capital, Guadalajara is also home to the largest indoor market in Latin America: Mercado San Juan de Dios (also known as Mercado Libertad). Since its beginning in 1958, this indoor market has been home to thousands of different vendors selling different kinds of prepared foods and fresh ingredients, as well as crafts, apparel, and other types of goods.
What is Tamarind?
Tamarind is the fruit product of the Tamarind tree and can be consumed raw or cooked. With a wide range of uses such as seasoning in soups, to sauces, to candy, to drinks, tamarind is a very popular ingredient in Mexico, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.
The tropical fruit grows in long brown shelled pods and is known for its bittersweet taste and juicy pulp. Each Tamarind pod contains three to 12 small brown seeds that are surrounded by pulp. As the fruit ripens, the pulp surrounding the individual pods sweetens and becomes paste-like. Although the tamarind flowers and leaves can also be eaten, the sticky paste produced by the fruit is the most commonly consumed part of the fruit.
Tamarind has become a staple ingredient of Jalisco thanks to the region's tropical ecosystem.
What are Ancho Chiles?
The Ancho Chile is the dried version of the ripe poblano pepper. They’re known for their reddish brown color, and spicy, but rich, flavor. This type of chile can vary in levels of spiciness, from mild to medium-hot, but also provides a sweet and smoky flavor to the dish prepared. Ancho Chiles are often combined with other dried chiles to make mole or adobo. Fun fact: "Ancho Chile" translates to "Wide Chile", in english.
How Can I Use This Sauce Flavor?
A balance of sweet, smoky, and tangy flavors, makes this sauce ideal for marinades, braises, grilling or as a simmer sauce to cook your favorite ingredients. From your favorite protein to your favorite vegetable, you can really get creative with how you incorporate our Ancho Chile & Tamarind sauce into your favorite dishes. Here are a few recipes we are currently loving:
For more recipes click HERE.