I ate so much salsa today, folks. There were purportedly over 40 salsas at the Salsa Fest, which we, the eaters, are supposed to vote on. I've been to the festival at least 4 times, but have never formally voted. I haven't even seen the opportunity to vote in recent years. Ah well.
Some of it was cheap or bland or salty. Some of it was so, so good. I didn't take notes; as you may know, it is hard enough to balance a platter of multigrain Tostitos and a teetering tower of teeny salsa samples, but add in a pen and notepad? Nuh uh.
Standouts included the Naked Leaf with a peach-mango salsa (c/o Una Pizza+Wine) that was beautifully complemented by organic ginger-peach tea leaves (that's assuming memory serves me right after a conversation with owner Jonathan; he tells me the tea is reminiscent of chai, but isn't quite there. A seriously cool tea shop, my friends. I wrote a little story about it in my early days as a journalist).
Mayoral candidate Craig Burrows chatted us up for a few minutes right as Al was asking me if he was (I will paraphrase here) "that crazy MLA." [Nah, that was a different Craig.] Burrows was very personable and very passionate about an open city council — starting with sharing his salsa recipe on his website. It's not posted up there quite yet, but he did assure us that he cared about salsa accountability. Burrows upped the nightshade-ante by using organic (local?) tomatoes that he got from Kingsland Farmer's Market. It was a great, fresh salsa that let us taste the flavour of the fruit and vegetables in it.
Ric McIver had a pretty decent salsa too, but it was one of those runny ones, which I am not so interested in these days. The volunteer who dished it out told us that it had a kick that could be attributed to Common Sense. Cute.
A couple teeny disappointments, though. There was no Foo-King Hot Relish booth.
And the Broken Plate, which annually whips up a cheesy, pepper-flecked dip that is so-totally-not-salsa but usually really delicious. It was really too salty to enjoy this year. Maybe this is nothing new, though. I'm starting to think that my tastebuds have evolved drastically in the past year.
I still have a salsa hangover. It is a hangover that wants to be cured by a fabulous home-cooked meal like the lasagna that I made on Wednesday (lemon-thyme tomato sauce sandwiched between homemade spinach pasta sheets? The most beautiful combination since sunshine and vacation). Unfortunately, my fridge is currently filled with stuff like: half a jar of apple sauce, 3 meatless buffalo 'chicken' wings, a huge sack of peas from the farmer's market and some sad and limpy celery (I assume it's limpy as I'm afraid to feel it...). I think I need to make some soup but this beautiful weather is so not conducive to soup.
It is, however, conducive to Strongbow...
[By the way, I was lucky enough to cover the 2010 Calgary Folk Music Festival for the Reflector! At your leisure, check out my slightly jealous/very proud reflection on the volunteer menu, my chat with local seemingly anti-folk (but actually pretty folk) folk singer Chris Gheran, and my interview with one-half of local experimental pop wizards Axis of Conversation.]