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, who�s 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: We�re delighted. It�s such a great story. So you�re a ceramics teacher. And your husband, Rafael, is a ceramics teacher.
Leah: We�ve 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. I�m 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 � 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 it�s available. Because you don�t get into the kinds of stores you�re 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 there�s probably one out of 500 that do not like cilantro. The majority of people absolutely love it. And what�s different about my salsa is that it�s blended, loaded with cilantro, and has no raw onions.
If my husband were here, he would say it�s 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 jalape�os.
It�s 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, �Mmmmmm! This is good!�
You were talking about the SF Wine Competition. I�ll 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 that�s there?
Leah: Yes, I have my website, which is www.mrsafamous.com, but I�m 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. There�s a full list of my stores, my story, there�s a picture, and then upcoming events with Savor California.
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