After finally finding my salt-shakers shaped like agua fresca barrels, I was walking through one of my favorite markets in Mexico City, Mercado de Medellín. I love this market for so many reasons. You can grab a snack, buy flowers, find kitchen utensils and almost anything you can imagine to cook. You have to have something to put those gizmos to work.
As I left the produce section toward the exit, I saw some simple tools at work. There was a five-gallon bucket of orange sauce with a ladle at rest. It had obvious just filled several little jars that sat to the side. As I passed I could smell something intensely spicy. I looked up at the shelves and realized that I had stumbled upon a mini salsa factory. Not just any salsa factory, a habanero salsa factory. Who was behind this delicious magic? I made my way around the corner and found a woman seated having lunch with her son. They both jumped to their feet to help me as soon as they realized I was there ready to consume salsa.
The woman with a kind face and gentle smile was the genius behind incredibly spicy and creamy salsa. Her name was Diana. With her son, Carlo, by her side she brought her family’s recipe’s from the Yucatan to make these habanero varieties of “Yucatiik” brand salsa. After many questions in my not so elegant Spanish, Carlo began speaking to me in English. Then Diana began to speak English also. Before I knew it, we were haven’t a fluent conversation in Spanglish! They were really wonderful people. She told me that her sister also made food typical of the Yucatan, so I’m going to try that out on my next visit to Mexico City this summer.
Her salsas are a Crema de Habenero (habanero cream), Spicy Habanero Red Salsa, Peanut Habanero (it’s killer on chicken) and one called Kut. It’s a thick black salsa made with smoked habaneros. I’ll be trying that on a steak soon.I took my friend Tanya by a few days later, because she had to know about this treasure known as Diana. If you’re lucky enough to have dinner with me, I might share some of her salsa with you!
Find Diana’s Yucatiik homemade salsa stand at Mercado de Medellín. It’s right at the edge of where the produce section changes to bottled goods/prepared foods, around the center … I know it’s not a great description, but I’ll have to study exactly more next time!