NMDA hosts 20th annual Battle of the Salsas, three other local food events during State Fair

Public invited to get a free taste of New Mexico foods: salsa, chile, cheese, onions, watermelon

(ALBUQUERQUE) – For two solid decades now, several hundred people of all ages have lined up during the New Mexico State Fair to help answer one simple question: What’s the best New Mexico salsa money can buy?

Fairgoers will queue up again this year for the 20th installment of New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s (NMDA) popular Battle of the Salsas.  The event takes place Saturday, September 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the courtyard of the Agriculture Building on the fairgrounds.  The horseshoe-shaped Agriculture Building is located just west of the Manuel Lujan commercial building and south of the animal barns.

In past years as many as 700 people have lined up to vote in the Battle of the Salsas.  Each person is handed a bag of New Mexico-made tortilla chips, a ballot, and a pencil.  Participants cast their ballots blindly after tasting each of the salsas.  NMDA staff tally the votes and announce the top three picks.

“Battle of the Salsas gives you a chance to sample a wide variety of New Mexico-made salsas available at stores across the state,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte.  “More than 30 competitors will battle for the title of New Mexico’s best salsa again this year, so people are bound to find a favorite – probably several favorites.”

Battle of the Salsas is open to all New Mexico-made, commercially produced salsas available for sale in the New Mexico Country Store, which is located in the Agriculture Building.  That means that after fairgoers find a favorite in the Battle of the Salsas, they can find out its name, then march up to the register and make their purchase.  The Country Store was created 23 years ago as a place for fairgoers to discover New Mexico foods such as salsas and other chile products, chips, spice mixes, baked goods, jams and jellies, candies, ciders, nuts, and more.

NMDA will be offering a taste of other New Mexico foods during its three other promotions during the state fair:

  • Sunday, September 14            Quesadillas featuring New Mexico cheese and chile
  • Friday, September 19              Onion rings featuring New Mexico onions and New Mexico-made dipping sauces; both the onions and sauces are available for sale in the Country Store
  • Saturday, September 20        All sorts of goodies featuring New Mexico watermelons

Each event is set to take place from 1 to 3 p.m. in the courtyard of the Agriculture Building.  Stay tuned to NMDA’s Facebook page for more details as each event approaches.

For more information about New Mexico foods, please visit NMDA’s NEW MEXICO—Taste the Tradition® website.