‘Tapatio – A Family Tradition’ By Kirstin Massmann


My college roommate at Clemson had a summer internship in northern Califorina our junior year.  When she returned for our final year of college, she came back with a serious addiction to Tapatio Salsa Picante.  She carried around a five ounce bottle everywhere she went and refilled it with a quart size bottle she purchased on line.  This blog isn’t really about how crazy-wonderful my college roommate was, but how crazy-great Tapatio is. 
In 1971, Mr. Saavedra started making his flavorful hot sauce in a 750 square foot building in Maywood, California.    He named his sauce ‘Tapatio’ which is the name given to the people where Mr. Saavedra is from, Guadalajara, Jalisco.  He began leaving the 5 ounce bottle in stores on consignment, meaning if the product did not sell, the hot sauce would be returned and Mr. Saavedra would not be paid.  Needless to say it was a very tough first five years.  Once the sauce started selling consistently, Mr. Saavedra moved into a larger facility, and then in 1996 and even larger warehouse.  2011 marked the 40 year anniversary and this product is now booming.  Not only does Tapatio have its long-time loyal customers but in the last couple years Frito Lay took it to the next level and developed a whole line of chips featuring the hot sauce.  Tapatio Doritos, Ruffles, and Fritos have flooded the shelves of grocery stores around the country, and I must say they are delicious. 
So what makes this hot sauce superior to the others?  I won’t name names, but a couple big player hot sauces have an undesirable tangy flavor, others are so hot they just burn your mouth without having real flavor.  Tapatio has the perfect amount of heat balanced with a terrific chili flavor. 
Despite the fact that my college roommate puts Tapatio on her cottage cheese, she has always had fantastic taste in food (and friends) and I am so grateful she brought Tapatio back to Clemson.  Needless to say, I would suggest trusting me, my college roommate, and the man in the yellow jacket. Give Tapatio a try the next time you want to add a kick to your meal.


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