As some of you may already know, my dad is the friendliest, chattiest, boldest guy I know. He went grocery shopping at The Fresh Market in Cornelius, North Carolina the other day and stopped at this guy's table who was sampling his homemade salsa. Long story short, dad chatted this guy up for quite awhile, came to know his name was Toney, (not gerome, like dad suspected because there used to be another guy selling homemade spices named gerome) he lives in Nashville and just happens to have his salsa kitchen right across the street from my fave coffee shop that I'm at every day, The Frothy Monkey. Crazy right?? Such a small world! SO, dad told him all about Recitherapy and gave him my info so we could get in touch when he returned to Nashville.
I e-mailed Toney right away telling him I wanted to try his salsa and promote him on the blog... he e-mailed right back and we decided to meet at Frothy. What a character! This guy is fully great... super creative in the kitchen, great personality, very confident, very helpful, uses all local ingredients, just a good all around guy who was SO inspiring. He let us in on his whole story of how he even came to start making salsa, and then what led him to forming his own natural food COMPANY that's opened up doors for him to sell his product at Whole Foods and The Fresh Market, not to mention a lot of other local stores as well. Dude is doing exactly the kind of thing that every self-made, self-proclaimed chef/ food blogger aspires to do.... and he's doing it well.
SO, let me introduce you to Toney and give you a private tour of his kitchen where the salsa magic happens!
Meet Toney.. he's loading up his car with fresh salsa to deliver to a few grocers.
Here we go!
He's just presented me with TWO "Green With Envy" salsas! Dad's favorite one.
AH! Look how much fun food he's GIVING me to try! It pays (in food) to be a food blogger! ;)
He's just given me his other two kinds of salsa AND his brand new cheddar cheese and olive spread.
"What? Chocolate?" I know, I asked the same thing... and then he informed us that he's started creating these gourmet cookies, made with only the finest Belgian chocolate that he sought out and chose, fresh local herbs like rosemary and other gourmet goodies like candied ginger! This guy does it all! And yeah, he let us try the chocolate. It was truly unbelievable.
Showing us his signage for when he goes out to the local farmer's markets and the grocery stores... look for that label if you're in search of a great salsa for your next shindig.
Now to taste them all...
Oh yeah, THAT'S the kinda salsa you just can't stop eating... dad, I DID love "Green With Envy," but I loved "Morita Divine" more.... surprise, surprise... it's the spiciest one. ;) Seriously though, Toney's salsa is FRESH fresh, it's chocked full of real, whole ingredients... chunks of perfectly roasted garlic and tomato, spices that obviously just came from somebody's garden, so good... you can't beat it. And James said to tell you this: "you know how sometimes when you eat salsa, all you can taste for the next couple of hours is salsa and lots of onion..? this one doesn't do that.. the flavour (misspelled for him purposely, because that's how aussies spell it) is rich and tasty but it doesn't leave a gross taste in your mouth for hours on end." Spoken from a TRUE snob about food that leaves a lingering flavour too long.
I look forward to using his salsa in a near future dish and letting you know how it blends with other things. Toney, I'll be honest, you know I will... but so far, I'm wildly impressed and I can't wait to support your business on a regular basis... after I get through all the TONS of samples you gave us! :)
And you guys, if you're shopping at The Fresh Market or Whole Foods and you see that inviting green and brown label, stop on over at his table and give it a try... maybe even be bold enough to just buy it without sampling it just to support a local foodie friend of mine. Isn't that what it's all about?
Lots of love to you all, and Toney, I'm sure we'll see you soon to discuss "chick-pea dip." ;)