Could you live without chocolate? Of course not. How about a world devoid of sweet mellow corn? Please stop. Try to imagine a stark taco-less existence – no blissful food-gasms from scrumptious seasoned beef, spicy sauce, and fresh veggies, in a warm shell. Unthinkable. Take off your hat to Mexico for all these wonders, with a special “thank you” to Rica Salsa for raising the bar on two of these earthly delights.
A 2012 UK study suggested that women prefer chocolate to sex. More than 20 per cent said that chocolate would be the hardest thing to give up, but only nine per cent felt that they could not live without sex (“Why do women prefer chocolate over sex?” Dr. Brooke Magnanti) But we don't need a study to tell us that chocolate is the gods' elixir. Our favourite guilty pleasure was born in exotic Mexico. According to Latina, “The first recorded evidence of chocolate was found in Mesoamerica, in the region that later became Mexico.” Hungry History (2014) alleges that “The ancient Mesoamericans fermented, roasted and ground the cacao beans into a paste that they mixed with water, vanilla, honey, chili peppers and other spices to brew a frothy chocolate drink.” The ambrosial treat was imbued with divine properties and reserved for rulers, warriors, priests, and nobles at sacred ceremonies.
Taco expert Jeffrey M. Pilcher believes the delicious gems were invented by 18th century silver miners in Mexico. The name 'taco' came from the detonators used for excavating the ore.
“When you think about it, a chicken taquito with a good hot sauce is really a lot like a stick of dynamite” quips the funny professor (Smithsonian, 2012).
Speaking of all things Taco-related, Rica Salsa turns ordinary into extraordinary. For most of my adult life, I've been deceived into thinking that tacos were just made with a bunch of meat or chicken thrown into a shell, and doused with sauce. Imagine my elation at biting into a Chicken Taco at Rica Salsa – the authentic, Mexican 'real McCoy'! Picture moist savoury chicken fresh off the roast on an open face soft shell piled high with cabbage, pineapple, carrots – bathed in a warm beautiful sauce. And don't get me going on the Chicken Taco Salad: When I die, I want to be buried with the Rica Salsa dish, just in case I wake up. The unforgettable salad is bliss in a tortilla bowl – there are more tangy crispy-fresh vegetables in that one dish than I eat in a week.
Finally, the Olmec and Mayan Indians were the first people to cultivate corn - in Mexico. Every day, Rica Salsa puts a heavy dollop of razzle-dazzle into this staple, with juicy niblets sweetening and embellishing their Tacos and Taco Salads. The fragrant smell and taste of corn breaks the flavour meter in Rica Salsa tortillas. 'Mexican' never tasted so good.
Raise a glass of Tequila (Mexican-born) to that land of sun, fun and beaches. And to the little eatery in Victoria BC that takes us there with every meal.