Shana’s husband, Allan, was an early Salsa Macha taster. I received a text early last summer that said, “My mouth is pleasantly on fire.” Even The New York Times wrote an article about the "Value of Salsa Macha". Our Salsa Macha is true to its Veracruz roots using a blend of chilies that give it both chili flavor (we prefer flavor over fear) and chili heat, fried garlic and onion for flavor and crunch and a hint of cinnamon. We give ours a unique twist with pepitas and sesame.
Back to the original question: What does Salsa Macha taste like?
The first note is the harmony of warmth and cinnamon, followed by the crunch of garlic and onion with a savory intermittent salt wave. Like a social media "About Me" descriptor....Salsa Macha is complicated. It’s a challenging question to answer. That is part of what makes Salsa Macha so versatile. It has characteristics that ebb and flow by what it’s paired with. On eggs, I get more chili. On savory proteins, I get the heat along with garlic and onions. With my chocolate ice cream, I get the cinnamon and roasted pepitas.
It occurs to me that Salsa Macha is the condiment of requirement. Like the room in Harry Potter, it gives me just what I need to make the perfect bite (see what I did there). My friend Tam is an excellent cook and all-around culinarian. She reads about food, collects cookbooks, knows a lot, and is ultimately responsible for my career in food (she’s also smarter than me – she has a real job at Microsoft). Tam was also a Salsa Macha tester, so I asked her, “What does Salsa Macha taste like?” I got an answer worthy of Food52:
"Salsa Macha provides both a layered taste and sensation.
For flavor, it gives a rich and complex spiciness that’s tempered with sweet and salty notes and an earthiness from the pepitas … and is there sesame in there? The nuttiness definitely provides a grounding for all the zippiness that comes from the chilis. And speaking of the chilis, Salsa Macha doesn’t give me the spicy/numbing/tingling effect of a traditional Szechuan chili crisp, but there’s a lively mouthfeel that comes along with the spice. " -Tam
Translation: Her mouth is pleasantly on fire.