23rd Annual Salsa Contest Coming Soon

No doubt about it: the summer heat is making for some great local tomatoes, from the tiny grape tomatoes at Feng Valliant’s Phoenix Farm market stand to the many heirloom varieties available in our stores.

Peppers are looking pretty good, too, as are those peaches, blackberries, and other garden items. Begging the question: which fruits and vegetables are destined for fame in the 23rd Annual Salsa Contest, cosponsored by Bloomingfoods and the City of Bloomington Farmers’ Market?

The Salsa Contest is one of the most popular food events in our community: filmed by CATS, it is a most requested show on local cable in the dead of winter. It’s not hard to figure out why – it has suspense, a great guacamole demo, salsa dancing, and lots of tasting participation.

While the judging panel of local culinary experts consider the merits of the entries, the public has a chance to sample salsa made by the contestants and area BIRA restaurants: Bloomingfoods and FoodWorks for Middle Way House, Crazy Horse, Eagle Pointe Golf Resort, Laughing Planet, One World Enterprises, and Scotty’s. We guarantee that there will be lots of great flavors out there!

Contest salsas must be entirely handmade with fresh ingredients: no additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, or processed sauces allowed. Twenty entries in each of the three categories (tomato-based Raw, tomato-based Cooked, and Specialty) will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis on Friday, August 26; return those to the Bloomingfoods location where you purchased your packet. (We limit sales to 60, so if you purchase a packet, you’re in!) All of the ingredients in Raw salsa must be completely uncooked (no smoking, roasting, or braising). Specialty salsas may include tomatoes, but not as a main ingredient. There is a limit of one entry per category per person. Got all of that?  Complete instructions are included in the packets.

Even if you don’t enter the contest, plan on joining the fun. Rags Rago of Nick’s English Hut will conduct his riveting guacamole-making demonstration at 10:15am, and samples of that will be available, too. Arthur Murray Dance Studio will be on hand with some salsa dancing, as the drama builds. Who makes the best salsa in Bloomington this year: join us on Saturday, August 27, from 10 a.m. - noon to find out!