Look for Memphis-made Dancing Peppers salsa (formerly Rojo Gold) at Kroger, Miss Cordelia's, Cash Saver, and more.
I know salsa.
I eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on eggs, salad, tacos, chips, burritos, and everything else.
I embarrass myself at Mexican restaurants. I eat all the salsa and ask for more. That’s when the waiter just brings me that big carafe of salsa and leaves me to my own devices.
I love the impossibly thin red stuff at restaurants that many eschew for its inauthenticity. I love that bland, thick stuff from a jar that many eschew for its inauthenticity. I love the green and brown stuff at restaurants that many adore for its authenticity.
Maybe the only way I’d love salsa more is if someone made a salsa beer. (That’s a free idea, by the way. Please, someone, make a salsa beer.)
David and Tracy Murrell
But a new (well, newly named) company improved salsa recently; they made it Memphis style — barbecue, that is. The company has been making and selling salsa in Memphis for years and you may have (probably) already eaten it. You just knew it as Rojo Gold.
Husband-and-wife team David and Tracy Murrell launched Rojo Gold (the company and the salsa) back in 2018. The salsa and the company wound down last year as the Murrells decided to rebrand it all as Dancing Peppers.
The company offers three salsas — medium, medium hot, and Memphis style. They are all made ”in small batches with carefully selected ingredients and spices to offer our customers a product without harmful chemicals added,” according to the company’s website.
I ate the medium salsa on salads last week. It’s tangy, salty, and just a bit sweet. It’s thin — not Chili’s thin — but Mexican-restaurant thin. The medium is an all-purpose salsa, good on everything.
You can smell the smoky tang of Memphis barbecue when you open a jar of Memphis style. It’s a bit thicker than medium and Dancing Peppers says it can be used as a barbecue sauce, especially on pork or chicken. It was great poured over a roasted chicken breast for lunch this week.
”Memphis is the home for the ‘World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest’ and is famous for its many great BBQ restaurants, so it only made sense for us to create the first ever ’BBQ Salsa,’” reads the company’s website. “Dancing Peppers Memphis Style Salsa is made with tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers and garlic, along with our secret BBQ Sauce recipe.”
But don’t let the added feature distract you. The Memphis style salsa’s highest-and-best function is on a salty tortilla chip. It’s delicious with a Memphis twist.
Dancing Peppers has another added bonus — civic pride. If you scoff at all other cheese dips if Pancho’s is available, you can proudly turn your nose up high in the salsa aisle until you find Dancing Peppers.
You can find Dancing Pepper salsa in Mid-South Kroger stores in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. You can also find it at Miss Cordelia’s, Super Lo, Cash Saver, Curb Market, High Point Grocery, and more