Public picks new-to-market salsa as best in New Mexico

Andele Restaurante’s Traditional Salsa takes top prize during annual Battle of the Salsas

(ALBUQUERQUE) – After several hundred fairgoers sampled and voted, it was a new-to-market salsa that came out on top of the competition in this year’s Battle of the Salsas at the 2014 New Mexico State Fair.

Participants – some whose youth belies the fortitude of their taste buds – cast their ballots after dunking tortilla chips in each of 33 salsas made commercially across the state.  After the votes were tallied Saturday, Andele Restaurante’s Traditional Salsa was named the people’s choice.

While the restaurant has been in business for nearly 20 years in Mesilla near Las Cruces, Andele has only recently begun packaging its salsa in jars for sale elsewhere.

Cindy’s Yummy & Healthy Salsa took second place, while third place went to Ol’ Gringo Chile Company.

Each salsa company was presented with a handcrafted silver Battle of the Salsas belt buckle from the New Mexico Chile Commission, which sponsors the always-popular event.  The event is hosted by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA).

“Battle of the Salsas is a fun way for people to try some of the best New Mexico has to offer,” said NMDA Deputy Director Anthony Parra, who announced the winners Saturday. “It’s meant to encourage people to try other foods grown or made across the state.”

Battle of the Salsas is an annual contest open to all New Mexico-made, commercially produced salsas available for sale in the New Mexico Country Store. Located in the Agriculture Building on the fairgrounds, the Country Store was created 23 years ago as a place for people to discover New Mexico foods such as salsas and other chile products, spice mixes, baked goods, jams and jellies, candies, fresh produce, nuts, honey, teas, and more.  The Country Store is open each day of the fair from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Find more information about salsas and other New Mexico foods and beverages at www.newmexicotradition.com.