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Albuquerque Innsights

Former New Mexico innkeeper knows secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

Old Town Albuquerque Salsa Fiesta

(This post has dated info. Please visit Albuquerque’s Old Town Events to find the most up to date info on what is going on in Old Town. The Salsa Fiesta is in August.)

So you think you make a pretty good salsa? All your friends may tell you so, but why not put it to the test? In August there will be a Fiesta in Old Town Albuquerque that is centered around Salsa. You may enter your salsa in the Homemade Salsa Competition, or just come, taste, vote for your favorite and then move on to the other festivities.

What? Albuquerque Salsa Fiesta
When: Saturday, August 15, 2009 – 2:00pm
Where: Old Town Albuquerque
Why: It’s New Mexico – we can’t help ourselves, we have to do it!

Cash Prizes are $1,000, $500, $250 and the winners will also receive beautiful custom-designed molcajetes (mortar and pestle).

You have plenty of time to tweak and perfect your recipe, and remember, hot is not always the criteria for salsa. Salsa is Spanish for “sauce”, so it may be any variation of ingredients that accompanies another food. I think of it as more of a relish. The modern definitions of salsa will many times say “spicy”, but I have tasted may good salsas that contain no hot spice at all. One of my favorite recipe books is “The Great Salsa Book” by Mark Miller, and it is a collection of nothing but salsa recipes from your run of the mill tomato based salsa to more exotic ones like carrot and black olive salsa, and others that combine fruits and milder chili. I think salsa is any sauce/relish that complements what it is served with.

Now – what will the judges think? Well, since you will be judged by the general public, there is no telling. on the ABQ City website you will find the link to the abqsalsafiesta where you will find all the rules and a downloadable entrance form, and a list of all the events at the Fiesta. Last years winners are also listed. For those who are interested in learning more about the Homemade Salsa Competition or about becoming an exhibitor can call Santana Brown at 505-768-3592. There is also a competition for commercial salsas, so there will be plenty of salsa for all!

Besides the salsa tasting, there are many other things going on at this 5th Annual Old Town event. There will be live music and dance, featuring what else? Of course – a Salsa band “Son Como Son”. There will also be special activities for children, and wine tasting for the “big kids”, like me with at least nine New Mexico Wineries being represented with booths at the Fiesta.

Parking in Old Town is not usually that bad, but with an event as popular as this, the city is encouraging the use of Public Transportation and rewarding that with entry to a Prize Drawing with proof of your alternative ride.

Where to Stay? Of course I would love you to stay with us if you are coming to the festival, but space is limited so I also suggest some of our sister inns that are also close to Old Town. We love them and they love us.
Bottger Mansion of Old Town
Cinnamon Morning B&B

Enjoy Albuquerque!

I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!

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8 Responses to “Old Town Albuquerque Salsa Fiesta”

  1. Anne Bateman Kendall says:

    I participated as a contestant in the Salsa Festival this year, 2012, and I thought it was a Blast! I thought it was very organized and the music was great. I was so busy I did not get a chance to taste others’ salsa but people kept coming back for a taste of mine so I know it was well liked even though I did not place. The only thing that I would ask is that they let us know where we did place. But thanks ABQ for a GREAT event. Booth 32

    • adobenido says:

      I’m glad you had fun, Anne. I hope they let you know what your placing was. Seems mean not to, really. I hope you try again next year! You GOOOO girl!

  2. Sarah, Adobe Nido B&B says:

    My personal favorites besides my own are Cervantes, Pedros, Monroes and Los Cuates. Everyone has a diffenet opinion about what salsa should be and I suggest you all start experimenting yourselves!

  3. Sarah, Adobe Nido B&B says:

    I do not know the fiesta winners. I will try to find out. We have another contest, bigger, really. Every year in October there is a tasting of nationally competing salsas, hot sauces, BBQ and other foods all after the coveted Scovie Award. Here is the link to last years winners.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hello, thru extensive web searching I can not find the winners of the commercial salsa producers from the 2009 Salsa Fiesta. The link only lists the homemade winners with no information on where to buy their salsas or what company produces the best commercially available salsa. I bought some salsa at a store in old town last year that was recommended by the clerk and said "award winning" and it was utterly awful. Can you help a tourist find Alburquerque's best salsa?

  5. Sarah, Adobe Nido B&B says:

    This is disturbing. While we had guests here this weekend who loved the Salsa Fiesta, your comments warrant me passing this on to the organizers of the even, for sure!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I was very disappointed in this event. It was very unorganized. The non-commerical salsa makers had lines going right and left and to each side of their tables, but if you were walking down the sidewalk, you could walk right up to a booth. What was the purpose of the lines. You also had a section of tents put together for food and wine tasting. The line was enormous and barely moved within an hour. Once you got in the tent, there was a band at the end and some tables. If you were the fortunate one in the tent, you had no reason to want to leave, while everyone else stood outside in a long line. I would have thought that after 5 years of this event, that it would have been set up better. The wine festival is such an event to mimic. Individual booths you can go to for food and for wine. A huge tent to sit under to listen to music. At the Salsa Fiesta you found several small bands playing at the end of some streets, no where to sit, no way to get out of the sun, no food to purchase and no wine to drink. This was a VERY HUGE disappointment to me and my friends. I don't think we'll be back!

  7. innkeeper says:

    Nice write-up on the Salsa Fiesta! Thanks for the mention.

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copyright 2009 :: sarah dolk, adobe nido bed and breakfast, albuquerque nm :: photos by susan see, abq, nm & marianne groszko, mariannephotography.net