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2012-05-10

Let's salsa! Salsa garden workshop set for May 30

By Jana Osbourn Extension Agent

Salsa is the term applied to a number of sauces that have been at the heart of Mexican fare for centuries. In its simplest form, it is made from a base ingredient, such as tomatoes, tomatillos, peaches or pineapple; and enhanced with roasted chilis, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, garlic and other herbs. When mixed together, the flavors of these humble ingredients blend to create salsa, a dish that is so much more than the sum total of its parts!

It is hard to believe that as recently as a generation or two ago most Americans had never heard of this delicious sauce. Today it is one of America's favorite condiments!

Bandera County Extension Service invites salsa fans to attend the Salsa Garden Workshop scheduled for Tuesday, May 29 at the Mansfield Park Showbarn, 2886 Hwy 16 North, Bandera.

The event will be from 1pm to 5 pm.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required by May 23. There is a $200 registration fee payable with pre-registration.

The fee includes instructions, handouts and a jar of freshly canned salsa to take home with you.

Participants should bring a knife and cutting board.

"We will be slicing and dicing, so you might want to bring an apron," said County Extension Agent Jana Osbourn.

For additional information or to register call the Bandera County Extension office at 830-796-7755.

High in flavor, low in calories and fat, salsa comes in many varieties, so there's something for everyone!

What could be better?

As with most foods, "Fresh is Best."

With all of the additives, preservatives and processing that go into commercially packed products, what we get out of a jar from the supermarket just can't rival the taste of homemade salsa.

That's why people should have their own salsa garden! These theme gardens are fun to grow and can be done most anywhere. There is no need to dedicate your entire backyard to gardening. Just tuck in a cilantro plant here and a tomato plant there.

As long as they can get plenty of sun, most of the plants needed to make traditional tomato salsa are so adaptable there's no need for a garden at all! With a little care, they will flourish just as readily in planters on the patio, or around the pool, as they would in the ground!