Spice It Up
I’ve read about the quality chili and spices from Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company for years but had never had the opportunity to stop and shop. Today we made it; and, we weren’t the only ones. A constant flow of shoppers arrived and departed with sacks of chili pastes, salsas, herbs and spices from around the world.
In business for 60 years, Santa Cruz is famous for the distinctive flavors of red chili peppers grown in the region made into a handy, easy-to-use chili paste. A round table in the ranch museum room is set up with chips and a dozen of the Santa Cruz products are available for tasting – paste to jam. Try them, you may find something new. Bob did – jalapeno orange marmalade.
Want a fajita spice mix, taco meat seasoning, habenero powder? You’ll find them and dozens more. In the market for paprika? There’s Peruvian, Hungarian, Hungarian half-hot, smoked, sweet, and Spanish. Who knew? Sample jars let you sprinkle a taste in your hand to try before you buy. Chili powders are rated for degree of hotness.
In addition to their own products there’s an extensive collection of regional flavors from other companies – hot sauces, salsas, jellies, syrups, mustards, etc.
Not sure how best to use some of the spices? Purchase a copy of the Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Co. Cookbook, a collection of favorite recipes from traditional Mexican dishes to new and healthy ways to cook with their products. The book is spiced with family stories of life in the Southwest and history of the company. This is a perfect place for souvenir shopping for cooks on your list; a bonus is the extremely fair and affordable prices. Gourmets will have a real spicy spree.
When You Go: Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company is located on the I-19 frontage road, exit 29, just south of the Tumacacori National Monument. Three miles south of Tubac. Open Monday – Saturday 8am – 5pm, closed Sundays.