Austinite’s salsas are rooted in family tree
As a Jewish girl growing up on the Texas-Mexico border, Shanna Weisfeld likes to joke that her Spanish is better than her Yiddish. “Cultures blend in strange ways,” she writes on her website, ShanitasSalsitas.com. “Bar Mitzvahs become pachangas. Tortillas replace bagels. Jalapeños find their way into falafel.” Even after she moved to Austin, Weisfeld couldn’t shake the flavors of her cross-cultural roots, so she started Shanitas Salsitas, a line of “little salsas” that aren’t necessarily meant for chips and are inspired by the family members who taught her the love of food.
Take Bubbie’s Haba-Lava, a bright yellow, fiery hot habaneros salsita named after her great-grandmother that Weisfeld makes only when she can use the lemons that come from the trees in her mom’s yard in McAllen. On the other end of the heat scale is the garlicky Ki’s K.O., which works as a marinade or a dip for vegetables or meat. Hal’s Hot Love, named for her great-uncle, is a smooth, hot sauce made with jalapeños and garlic, while one named for grandpa Seymour incorporates the flavors of the North African chile paste, harissa. The refrigerated salsitas cost $7 a jar, but Weisfeld is offering a holiday special of three for $20 or four for $25. Weisfeld ships the salsitas with a minimum order of three jars and she makes deliveries on Tuesdays through Saturdays in much of the Austin area. You can place orders online at ShanitasSalsitas.com, and look for a salsa of the month club to start next year.