I have so woefully little to report, foodwise. I haven’t been doing anything besides working (a lot) these last couple of weeks. To maintain this blog and not fade into internet oblivion, I have to resurrect a food event of a month ago. The theme of this food event is “the lengths I will go.”
I went to Texas this summer, a trip that has fueled at least half the entries on this blog, likely due to the fact that I did nothing but eat for a number of days straight. Before I left the Texas summer heat for the miserable tepidity of Boston, Lara gave me a jar of salsa (among many many other things) from Dick’s Cafe in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The jar sat around waiting for a fitting occasion. As I mentioned, that occasion turned out to be a random Thursday, complete with hibiscus tequila cocktails.
The salsa was worth the wait. It is without doubt, the best salsa I have had. It’s smooth and thin, very very garlicky, slightly sweet and really hot. It tastes fresh and non-preserved - this observation is supported by the ingredient list: tomato puree, tomato sauce, Hatch Valley jalapeno peppers, garlic and salt. Granted, the tomato sauce part is somewhat vague, but the product couldn’t taste further from mass produced.
So the jar was gone in oh… a couple of hours. While never having this salsa again seemed horrifically depressing, flying to NM for a jar of salsa did not seem economically sound. The internet came in to save me yet again - Lisa and I ordered a case (8 jars) of salsa from Dick’s Cafe to share. That sounds really simple, doesn’t it? Well, consider this. I nearly broke into a cold sweat typing that web address into my lab computer’s browser. One small mis-step (or mis-type) and my network connection would be shut down by the hospital for downloading inappropriate subject matter. I typed very s l o w l y. WWW.dickscafe.net. Whew.
The site is painfully low tech, the order didn’t really go through and I had to call NM. When informed where I would like the salsa shipped, the guy on the phone asked, “Err, how did you hear about us?” So I told him. I am in the know.
The following is my best attempt at presenting the broad strokes of a dialogue (somehow, non-science writing was left out of my graduate school curriculum. Shame) that took place as I was trying to get my package from the post office.
The scene: Tuesday, 7:30AM, post office.
Me: Sleepy and perilously close to cranky.
Post office employee (POE): Bejeweled, disgruntled, and slow as molasses.
POE, struggling under the weight of an innocently small box: “What is in here? It’s so heavy!”
Me, perking up: “It’s salsa!”
Pause and blank stare from POE
POE: “Salsa? As in, chips and salsa?”
Me, perkier still: “Yep! There is a restaurant in New Mexico that makes this great salsa and I ordered a box of it from them. It’s reaaaally good salsa.”
POE, dubious: “Well, yeah… I guess it does say New Mexico on the box… Huh.”
Me, thinking: “No shit, lady.”
POE, clearly puzzled by me: “So they just sent it to you? That’s nice of them.”
Me, confused: “Um ok. Thanks! Bye now.”
I don’t know how, but I could smell the salsa outside the box. I am lucky this stuff doesn’t have alcohol in it. I would be in real trouble if it did. It is positively addictive. I am glad not to have to weigh each occasion as salsa-worthy, or not salsa-worthy. I can always just order another case!
I went to great lengths for this salsa. I agonized over the web address, I struggled with the website, I had indirectly apologize to a POE for the heft of my precious box… and it was all worth it.
I have to go to lab now. Sigh.
P.S. Someone from the UK visited my blog after searching for "bugger smell" on Google. I don't even want to know.