Today I had the privilege to speak with Victoria Gonzalez, a young entrepreneur and co-owner of Salsa Maya. For those who do not know, Salsa Maya is an unique and delicious habanero aioli. It works great as a sandwich spread, dip or as a substitute for mayo in nearly all recipes. Please read about the company below and then order a few bottles from Just Enough Heat. Get 10% off your Salsa Maya purchase by using coupon code SMAYA at checkout.
Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli Owners:
Victoria Gonzalez (22) and her father Julio Gonzalez
Company is Based?
When Was Company Founded?
How many employees?
4 plus the 2 owners
How many store fronts carry Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli?
87 store fronts in 2 states and 4 website
Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli Awards:
Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli won the Peoples Choice Award at the 2014 Houston Hot Sauce Festival and a 3rd place Scoovie award for unique sauce. They have found that since their product is so unique, contests sometimes do not have an appropriate category for them to enter.
Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli Recipe Origins:
Julio Gonzalez developed the recipe when the family lived in Chihuahua, Mexico. The Gonzalez family moved to the United States in 1997. Throughout these many years, Julio has prepared the Salsa Maya recipe for his local family and friends as well as sending bottles to the rest of his family that still lives in Mexico. In 2012, Julio, who has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, started discussing the possibility of commercializing the recipe. In 2012, he established the company with the input of Victoria. They decided on the name of the company and flag ship product was to be Salsa Maya. Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli refers to the Spanish word for “sauce” and the Yucatan Peninsula. The Yucatan Peninsula is where Habaneros are commonly grown and where Mayan culture thrived for many centuries. If you remember, 2012 marked the end of the Mayan Calendar, which sparked doomsday predictions and had Mayan culture on forefront of the news cycle. They thought that this was a fitting name for their unique and spicy habanero based sauce. The expansion of the business was put on hold while Victoria attended the Culinary Institute of New York, where she graduated in 2014. Once she graduated she decided to dedicate the next year to making Salsa Maya a success! It has been 8 months and there is no end in sight!
For the Love of Spicy Food:
Victoria’s hispanic roots have established a life long love for spicy food. She has grown up in a culture where spicy food is a part of daily life. One interesting fact is that while Victoria loves to eat habaneros, she finds some jalapeños just to hot!! While doing a television interview with TeleMundo, a Spanish language television network, she was made to eat a Carolina Reaper live on the air! She said she was speechless with pain!
More Flavors to Come?:
Currently, original Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli is the only flavor the company offers. Victoria explains, “While we were recently planning on introducing another product, the original Salsa Maya has grown so rapidly, we need to focus on its continued growth before introducing new products.”
Last Word About Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli:
Every batch is made with fresh ingredients, no artificial flavorings or preservatives are included. Victoria says, “Since the habaneros used are so fresh, the heat can differ slightly from batch to batch and in that way Salsa Maya is like a fine wine!”
Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli Recipes:
Salsa Maya Fiery Fish Tacos
5 fresh fish fillets ( ex: mahi-mahi, halibut, tilapia )
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of two limes
1/4 cup SALSA MAYA
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1/2 cabbage, finely sliced
10 corn tortillas
Salsa Maya (desired amount depends on how deliciously spicy you want it)
Salt/Pepper to taste
- Whisk together cilantro, lime juice and SALSA MAYA and pour over fish fillets and marinade for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove fish from marinade and put on a hot pan or grill [flesh side down] and cook for 3 minutes and flip over for a minute
- Heat the tortillas and distribute fish into the tortillas
- Toss cabbage and red onion with some lime juice and sprinkle on top of tacos with extra SALSA MAYA to taste
Salsa Maya Spicy Tuna Salad:
1/4 cup chopped bread and butter pickles
2 medium hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
1 (5 oz) can of tuna
3 tablespoons SALSA MAYA
1 tablespoon mayo or Miracle Whip
yellow mustard to taste
fresh greens, bread or croissants
Mix pickles, eggs, tuna, SALSA MAYA, mayo and mustard in a medium bowl until smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Serve with fresh greens, bread or croissants. Heat level can be controlled by adjusting the levels of SALSA MAYA and mayo, should total approximately 4 tablespoons.