Make us your home page
Instagram

Try This: Cigar City Smoked Salsa

Cigar City Smoked Salsa contains no preservatives or additives and is gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

Cigar City Smoked Salsa contains no preservatives or additives and is gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

In a world consumed with Internet reviews and targeted advertising, it is rare to find a new favorite food by pure serendipitous discovery. But that's what happened a month ago when I was shopping in Publix for taco night at my house.

As I strolled down an aisle, I decided to see if there were any jarred salsas I'd be interested in. I wanted to try something different from my go-to choice, Publix's fresh, refrigerated salsa. I did not have high hopes for the jarred kind, but then I spotted the whimsical cursive branding of Cigar City Smoked Salsa.

Being a fan of all things Tampa, I grabbed the jar to see if it was produced in the area. The label provided a Tampa address and boasted that it was all natural, listing a total of seven ingredients that I could find in my own kitchen. I was sold.

Cigar City Smoked Salsa is now a trending item in my household.

According to CEO Mark Adwell, the local delight was started in 2012 by a group of Tampa guys. The friends were doing what Tampa locals do so well, barbecuing, when they decided to smoke some veggies on the grill and make a homemade salsa. They tried the salsa, then their friends and family had a taste, and now Cigar City Smoked Salsa is sold in all Publix locations, at several bay area Walmarts and at 25 local food markets. The product will make its debut in 150 Central Florida Winn-Dixies in December.

The name is an homage to its original production roots in Ybor City, but with its successful growth the salsa is now cooked and packaged in Largo.

Made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt, Cigar City Smoked Salsa contains no preservatives or additives and is gluten-free and vegan-friendly. Currently, the salsa comes in Hot, Medium and Mild flavors. I'm a baby when it comes to spicy flavors, so I've only tried Mild, but I love it with Tostitos Cantina Tortilla Chips, on salads and on tacos. Adwell says a lot of people enjoy the smoked tomato goodness on pizza, so I'm going to give this a try in the near future.

Amber McDonald, Times staff writer

Try This: Cigar City Smoked Salsa 11/16/15 [Last modified: Monday, November 16, 2015 5:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pain does not exist in the Karate 3 soundtrack ... does it?!?

    Blogs

    Should the Karate Kid series have stopped at the original? Probably, but if we didn't have Karate Kid 3 would will still have the lost song Listen To Her Heart by the Little River Band?

  2. Bar review: The Landing at Jannus in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits

    I've spent many evenings in St. Pete's Jannus Live courtyard, enjoying one of the best open-air venues in the Tampa Bay area. It's where I saw my first concert in Florida: Toadies, on the Rubberneck tour sometime in the mid '90s.

    The drinks at the Landing at Jannus in St. Petersburg are about as cheap as you’ll find at any other regular downtown bar, a nice surprise.
  3. Local craft beer of the week: Two Henrys Belleview-Biltmore Blueberry Vanilla Wheat

    Bars & Spirits

    Two Henrys Brewing Company is a unique entity in the Tampa Bay brewing scene, due to both its status as the only brewery in Plant City, as well as its location on a 27-acre working farm, which also includes a winery.

    Photo by Justin Grant
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 26

    Events

    Train: One of the most engaging frontmen in rock, Pat Monahan, brings along O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield for their annual trip through Tampa. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $21.50-$191. (813) 740-2446.

    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 12:  Singer Pat Monahan of Train performs as the band kicks off the Play That Song Tour in support of the album "A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat" at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) 700034174
  5. Interview: Todd Rundgren comes to St. Petersburg looking to reach a new generation

    Music & Concerts

    They're teaching Todd Rundgren in college now.

    Todd Rundgren will perform at the Mahaffey Theater on May 27. Credit: Lynn Goldsmith