If someone asked me, "What's your favorite food?" Without hesitation - I'd say, "Chips and Salsa."
I thought it appropriate that my first entry be about my greatest culinary love. Maybe to you, chips and salsa seems a novice answer. Not a fitting option for someone claiming to be a wannabe foodie. (At least I said wannabe - right?) But good salsa, no wait, not good - GREAT salsa - salsa that makes you get up and do a Mexican Hat Dance - is hard to find. And then trying to find the perfect chip to go with said salsa? That's practically impossible!
Recently, on a trip with my absolutely wonderful and adorable husband (more about him later) we went on a hike in the West Maui Mountains. It was raining. We couldn't hike to the waterfalls for a brief swim because of severe flash flooding. We were covered in red dirt mud. In fact, we were thinking about what a waste of a day in Hawaii this was. The guide crammed us into a van, promising us a tour of beautiful country on a road fit for one small car. It was a death road. Needless to say we survived the hike. We survived the death road. But nothing could have prepared me for what followed.
The guide served us lunch at a local art boutique. Lunch was good. My husband, Andy, hated it. It consisted of spinach wraps. Turkey sandwiches. Vegetable crudites. And juice - out. of. a. can. Really, every food that he refuses to eat was what was served for lunch. And lunch was OK - that is until the guide brought out the special sauce.
It was made from pomegranate syrup and hot chili sauce. That's it! It was spicy and sweet. And it was heaven all wrapped up in a bottle. Now I guess technically this isn't salsa. Its sauce. But salsa means sauce in English. I digress.
As my husband does each day on each trip we take, he turned to me later that evening, as we sat on our balcony overlooking the ocean, the sun setting on its endless waves, glittering the water with bright golden freckles, the island of Lanai in the far distance, "What was your favorite part of the day?"
I knew it immediately! The salsa! The special sauce! The heaven in a bottle! I knew this answer wouldn't surprise him. He knows how I live for good chips and salsa.
This was my latest adventure in the quest for the world's best chips and salsa. Now, the chips on the other hand - out of bag! UGH! Not good eats - as one Alton Brown might say. But the sweet and spicy salsa sauce? So memorable. And that's what makes a good salsa. Something you remember and can still taste days, weeks, months, after you've had it.
This was a very special sauce. But probably not the WORLD'S greatest salsa. And I've long way to go to find the perfect chip. So, my quest continues. And I'll report any other culinary gems I find along the way.