Discover a small-batch salsa verde that achieves the perfect balance of heat and flavor. It is dang delicious!
If you are a lover of salsas and spicy things, then Tom Knows Salsa is made for you – made by Tom, right here in Vermont. He spent a long time perfecting his recipe for salsa verde. Every batch is small and made by hand with fresh ingredients.
What is it?
A lot goes into every jar of Tom Knows Salsa, but two main ingredients make it a salsa verde: tomatillos and poblano peppers.
Poblanos are long, dark green peppers that are mild and have a lot of flavor, especially when roasted. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes with a papery outer skin. (Side note: they’re a fun veggie to grow, we always get a lot from just a few plants!)
Tomatillos when picked have a firm flesh and a tart, almost citrusy flavor, and they’re a staple of Latin American cuisine. This salsa has a blend of fresh and roasted tomatillos.
Other fresh and roasted ingredients include jalapeños, onion, garlic, and shallots. Tom Knows Salsa comes in mild and medium, plus a hot version that includes roasted habaneros. It’s really flavorful, and thicker than typical green salsas which makes it perfect with salty tortilla chips.
What’s the story behind it?
Tom Williams has been making Tom Knows Salsa with his wife Devon since 2009, but he actually started making his own salsas much earlier after moving to Vermont. He sought to recreate the unique and delicious salsas he left behind in California. It took over a year of test batches and taste-testing before the perfect salsa verde came into being.
Where is it made?
At the beginning Tom Knows Salsa was made right in Tom and Devon’s own kitchen in Eden, Vermont. Now it’s made in Hardwick at the Vermont Food Venture Center, a hub for food entrepreneurs offering business guidance and a shared-use commercial kitchen.
Tom and Devon make their salsa several times a year in small batches, where the balance of ingredients and flavors is carefully controlled.
Why I like it
Most salsa verdes that I’ve tried whether jarred or fresh tend to be watery and with little flavor. What I like about the Tom Knows Salsa is the thicker consistency which not only makes it easier for dipping, but allows you to get a lot of those fresh and roasted flavors in every bite.
The medium variety has a nice balance of heat and flavor: enough heat that you can feel it, but not so much that you’re left crying! The hot variety is hotter of course, but again not over the top. You get the heat but still the flavors, especially the fruity/floral flavor of the roasted habaneros.
The first jar of Tom Knows Salsa I brought home was quickly discovered and promptly devoured by my family that same day!
How to enjoy it:
Go ahead and dig into this salsa with tortilla chips, but don’t stop there. Tom Knows Salsa wonderfully complements meats like burgers and grilled chicken. Recipes on the Tom Knows Salsa website include Refried Beans, Enchilada Sauce, and Guacamole.
I think it would be lovely with some baked breakfast burritos!
Where to find it:
I find my Tom Knows Salsa at Healthy Living in South Burlington. It’s not unusual on some weekends to find Tom himself there as well, offering samples of his salsa to all who come in! Find his friendly face by that logo – a red Vermont with a chili pepper top.
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Hungry For Vermont is me sharing some of my favorite Vermont specialty and gourmet foods: unique and delicious eats and drinks made right here in the Green Mountain State. All of the products I share are ones that I’ve tried, love, use, and that I’m hungry for! All opinions are my own.
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