Salsa may have been invented by the Aztecs, but ice and snow haven’t stopped a local Saultite from perfecting the dish. Beth Boskovitch, founder and owner of Sidewinder Salsa Co., took her hobby from something she did in her spare time and elevated it to an art, creating one-off runs of unusual salsa flavours made from local ingredients.
“I always wanted to start something food-related and I always loved salsa, so the business just came together organically,” says Boskovitch. And she’s probably the only person to be brave enough to start a business in the midst of a pandemic. “I started the business in the summer of 2020,” she says. “But this wasn’t my full-time job – it was a passion project.”
What makes Sidewinder Salsa so exceptional is its creative twist: no two runs of salsa are the same – and each has its own heat profile. Boskovitch uses local ingredients – whether that’s wild leeks or local honey - to invent a single recipe, then moves onto the next recipe – never to repeat it.
“It’s one and done, that’s the premise of the business,” she explains. “I like to work with what’s available seasonally and organically at the time and I use local people. To me, it’s more interesting to always be changing. I didn’t want to make status quo salsa. It’s much more fun when the upcoming product is unexpected.”
Whimsical in their flavours and names, Boskovitch clearly has a knack for marketing.
The label for The Mighty Mary reads: “Mary, she’s a fine one….but don’t nobody mess with her fresh veggies….I hope I did ya proud….”, also including her Instagram hashtags. The Mighty Mary also includes roasted tomatoes, charred poblanos, toasted cumin, grilled sweet onion, fire-roasted bell peppers, fresh lime, roasted garlic, fresh cilantro, pink Himalayan salt and “a little bit of sass and a whole lotta love”.
Boskovitch takes pride in doing the roasting herself though she uses gourmet “Juniper Smoked Salt” from the Newfoundland Salt Company in most of her concoctions.
Other salsas include The Wild Willy, created with wild leeks, The Dapper Dan, a tomato-less salsa that features peaches and roasted chillies, and The Soul Patch, which showcased raspberries she picked herself from Twin Rivers Farm. The Dart Smokers, also a customer favourite, had a layered, smoky flavour with juniper smoked sea salt, tomatoes, charred garlic, and garlic scapes.
Check out Sidewinder Salsa Co. products at Fannie’s on the Island, Feeding Your Soul Café, and HOME Bakehouse, Bed, Breakfast in the Soo. You’ll never taste the same salsa twice – unless you double dip!