Timpone's Fresh Foods/Rose'sHere's an inspirational story: It's 1998. A guy is taking a cross-country trip -- well, at least across part of the country. Texas to California, to be exact. And what does a lengthy road trip require? Provisions, of course. And this guy has a friend who thoughtfully sent along some of her fresh salsa to help in taking a little bit of Texas with him on his journey. The salsa, being of the fresh variety, was packed on ice in the cooler and somewhere in the middle of New Mexico, the travelers cracked the jar. Whoa!! An epiphany! And Patrick Timpone, President of Timpone's Fresh Foods, swears that his comment at that momentous occasion was, "We should make this stuff and sell it!" Which is exactly what he did. Today Rose's Salsa is a multiple Hot Sauce Festival winner and it has a devoted following in Austin and beyond. Not that you can get far from these corners; the absolute freshness of the product limits its distribution to Dallas and Houston at the Whole Foods markets there. Other than those locations, you have to make a trip to Austin to appreciate this garlicky, tomatoey, cilantroey, peppery delight. Some folks, usually Easterners, claim that a jar of salsa with a shelf life of only a week or so is wasteful. They wonder who could finish a jar of spicy salsa in a week. We know that a jar opened is a jar emptied and it's lucky to exist another day, much less another week. The recipe hasn't changed one iota from the recipe Mr. Timpone received from his friend 12 years ago; only the amount of the peppers vary depending on the intensity of the crop. The cilantro is procured via Segovia Foods from a source in San Antonio and is washed, stemmed, and chopped by hand three times a week here in town. And that slap-you-in-the-face freshness makes it a true Hall of Flamer.
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