Sarah Stultz: I’m on the hunt for the perfect salsa recipe

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a salsa snob.

In high school, my friends and I would take what seemed like a weekly visit to my favorite restaurant of all time — where my love of Mexican food began.

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Some may have considered it a hole in the wall, but to us high schoolers, looks didn’t matter. That restaurant had the most delicious food that I have ever tasted, and I still daydream about it to this day.

Most every time I would eat there, I would get either two beef enchiladas or a taco salad. But what was even better than the meal itself, however, were the chips and salsa that were served before the meal arrived.

The chips and salsa in all reality was the top reason I loved the restaurant. And that salsa was something that could be added to anything at that place — that’s how good it was.

I’ve had similar chips at other restaurants in the years since but nothing yet quite like that salsa — though I have found some others I enjoy.

I can’t help but compare every salsa I’ve had since to the salsa at that restaurant.

There was just something about it that was unlike any other salsa I’ve ever had, and I’ve been on a mission in the years since to try to replicate it.

It was a smooth salsa — though chunky salsa isn’t bad — and it definitely had its share of garlic.

I remember spending the night at a friend’s house after we had eaten there once, and her mother commented on the garlic smell that must have been coming from our pores when she came in to wake us up the next morning.

All kidding aside, we sure did love that place.

It’s canning season at my house right now, and I think about the taste of that salsa often as I try to find a recipe that will be a perfect match.

I have tried at least a half dozen salsa canning recipes and have not yet found one that measures up.

If anybody has one you think is a hit, send it my way at

I’d love to try it out.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.