Dining Around with Gene BurnsInterview with Leah Aguayo of Mrs. A's Famous Salsa Buena
KGO Newstalk AM 810
February 2, 2008
Gene Burns: Tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday. What better weekend to talk about having a great bowl of salsa and some chips.
Mrs. A, whoís Leah Aguayo, joins us to talk about her salsa and the great story that goes with it. Leah, welcome to Dining Around.
Leah Aguayo: Thank you so much for having me.
Gene: Weíre delighted. Itís such a great story. So youíre a ceramics teacher. And your husband, Rafael, is a ceramics teacher.
Leah: Weíve been together since we were 15 in high school.
Gene: Both interested in ceramics?
Leah: My husband plays music, and he was a music major and then switched over to ceramics after meeting Al Johnson our professor at UC Santa Cruz. Iím at Saratoga High School. My husband is at Los Gatos High School.
Gene: You used to make this salsa for yourself, for your family.
Leah: Teaching ceramics, I have always rewarded my students with cooking food, which is my passion. Probably 10 Ė 12 years ago I started bringing salsa into my classroom. If they were behaving, they got food. If they were misbehaving, then they had to clean the room. So it was a reward.
Five years ago, this Superbowl, tomorrow, will be our fifth anniversary. Five years ago my third period class said, Mrs. A, you have to market this.
Gene: One of the best ways to determine the quality of a product is to look at where itís available. Because you donít get into the kinds of stores youíre in unless you have a top quality product.
A couple of things make your salsa different. You really like cilantro in the salsa.
Leah: Yes, I find that in my tastings and demos that thereís probably one out of 500 that do not like cilantro. The majority of people absolutely love it. And whatís different about my salsa is that itís blended, loaded with cilantro, and has no raw onions.
If my husband were here, he would say itís a flavor progression in your mouth. The sweetness of the tomatoes, the freshness of the cilantro and then -- whoop! there it is -- the heat of the garlic and the jalapeŮos.
Itís just so much fun to be at a tasting or an event and watch people. I will stare at them until they give me the, ďMmmmmm! This is good!Ē
You were talking about the SF Wine Competition. Iíll be there. I was there last year and it was an awesome event.
Gene: Do you have a website, a list of your classes, locations for salsa -- all thatís there?
Leah: Yes, I have my website, which is www.mrsafamous.com, but Iím also with a marketing partnership, Savor California, www.SavorCalifornia.com. Click on Sauces and Condiments, go down to Santa Cruz County, and my page will come up. Thereís a full list of my stores, my story, thereís a picture, and then upcoming events with Savor California.
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