An Interview with Martian Salsa
For how long have you been making hot sauce?
Almost 2 months now.
What are your most popular products?
It is only been demo’d twice, once at the Fiery Food Show in Albuquerque, NM and once at a local produce store, but so far “Close Encounters of the Fruit Kind” is the crowd favorite. It is a spunky red raspberry hot sauce.
How did you get started making hot sauce?
I have never made hot sauce before in my life. In fact until last year, the only hot sauce product I had ever bought was “Tabasco Sauce”. Participating in the spicy world of sauces has opened my eyes to other opportunities to expand my salsa product line. It wasn’t long before I realized a hot sauce is just a pureed salsa, but to dress it up, you have a bigger wardrobe from which to choose.
When did you go commercial?
March 17 2009 (St. Patrick’s Day) with my first salsa, “New Mexican Martian Salsa”. It’s a traditional salsa made with all fresh vegetebales, no additives or preservatives.
How many bottles of hot sauce do you produce a year?
My first and only run of hot sauce was about 120 cases.
Do you have a preferred chili pepper as an ingredient?
I like jalapenos and yellow hots.
Aside from chili peppers, what do you feel is the key ingredient(s) in making the perfect hot sauce?
I’m not avoiding the question, but I think the real question is “what is the key to making the perfect hot sauce?” Then I would say the key is to maintain a good pH level WITHOUT making the hot sauce taste like vinegar.
Is there a special process you follow in making your hot sauces?
I start with ingredients that I love to eat personally. They may be unconventional, but then again, so am I.
Do you follow a particular philosophy to making hot sauces?
If I like eating it, maybe it will strike a chord in someone else and they will have the same craving.
Do you have any other favorite spicy foods?
Yes, yes, yes. I love jalapenos on my popcorn and nachos. I love fresh beans and yellow hots. I love enchiladas with green chile. I love red chile with papas.
Do you have any advice for would-be hot sauce makers making sauces at home?
Experiment. Once you get an idea of what ingredients will marry nicely, make several variations of the same recipe. Then have everyone in your family and some extra friends try it and critique what they like most about each one. There will be one sample that stands out above the rest. Tweak it to perfection.
Imagine this sad reality: If you could have only one chili pepper the rest of your life, which would you choose?
The jalapeno because it is so versatile.
If your life could be turned into a movie, who would you like to have play YOU on the big screen? What might the movie TITLE be?
Ooh, Sandra Bullock. She would play the starring role in “Why Me?”
Any other parting thoughts?
I’ve been a home cook to a happily chubby husband for many years. I started my business with hopes of bringing tantalizing products to others. I am still in my infancy and I’ve got a great deal to learn from the experts. My goal in doing this interview is to give those at home a little inspiration to take the next step in making their masterpieces accessible to the public.
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