Forget Merely Fresh; Try Live!

Buying packaged or prepared food from the grocery store, you can be almost certain that it will never taste quite as good as homemade, most often because it lacks the vibrancy that only fresh fruits and vegetables can provide. Popping open the lid of a jar of Zukay‘s salsa, the thing that hit me first was how bright, clean, and intense the flavors were. Never before have I tasted a jarred product that tasted so close to homemade! It probably has something to do with the fact that Zukay prides itself on selling live foods, happily fizzing away with non-dairy probiotics and absolutely no preservatives.

Indeed, both the salsas and relishes are positively effervescent! The sensation reminds me of soda carbonation, but it gentler and “smoother,” for lack of better description. It’s not distracting or obtrusive, but merely lends another dimension to the over all texture. Hot Salsa Viva is what I would recommend for anyone who enjoys a bit of spice; While the Mild Salsa Viva is perfectly delicious, it definitely lacks heat.

Relish isn’t a condiment that I usually have on hand, so I wasn’t sure what to look for here or even what to expect. Happily, I discovered that the Garlic Dill Relish was much like finely diced dill pickles, which I happen to love. Bringing a bit more bite to the party, the Horseradish Dill Relish has a satisfying zing which has just the right level of heat.

It felt wrong to go and cook such a delicately-handed, raw, living food… But I just couldn’t leave well enough alone and couldn’t resist the urge to experiment!

What you see here is still the same salsa, and almost purely salsa, but with a bit of time and slow heat, it’s become a crisp, translucent “glass.” Having learned from Alex‘s class on Crisps, Cracklings and Glasses, just how easy these fun chips are, I made up a batch as soon as I returned home. They do require patience, but are dead easy to make!

Salsa Glass

335 Grams Salsa* (1 Jar of Zukay, Scraped Clean)
90 Grams Light Agave Syrup
Pinch Salt

Place all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan, bring it to a boil, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and let cool- You should have about 235 grams remaining afterward.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and line two baking sheets with silpats or acetate.

Move this mixture into your food processor or blender, and thoroughly puree. Pass it through a fine mesh sieve to make sure that there are absolutely no lumps. Use a stencil like you would for traditional tuiles (I cut a simple triangle out of cardboard) and spread it very thinly and evenly onto your prepared sheets.

Bake for 1 hour, flip the chips over, and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

*Note that if you use a very spicy salsa here, it will only become even more spicy as the liquid is removed and the solids become more concentrated, so choose wisely!