Red Hot - Salsa Contest!

Red Hot: Salsa Contest! 
10 am Saturday, August 30th, at the Farmers' Market

Rag's Makes Salsa for the CrowdIt's salsa time again! For the 5th year in a row – and the 20th year of this co-op tradition – we are pleased to team up with Bloomington Parks and Recreation to co-sponsor the annual Bloomington Salsa Contest, a shakedown showdown in which we ask local judges to determine who makes the best salsa in Bloomington.

The Salsa Contest is one of our community's most popular summertime food traditions. Held at the end of August, when homegrown chilies and tomatoes are most plentiful, you can catch this event at the Bloomington Farmers' Market at Showers Commons, beginning at 10 am on Saturday, August 30th.

This year we are making an addition to the event format, at the request of a number of previous participants. We are adding specialty salsa as a third category, alongside tomato-based raw and cooked. Specialty salsa may be either raw or cooked, without a tomato base. For those folks who have been hankering to compete with a fruit-based salsa, now is your chance.

Here is how the Salsa Contest works:
local judges from the food community put their tastebuds to the test, evaluating three categories of homemade salsa: raw, cooked, and specialty. Participants may enter in up to two categories.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Bloomingfoods prize bags will be awarded in each category. 1st place winners will be have their recipes featured in a future issue of Bloomingnews. All of the winning recipes will also be posted on our site.

The Chili Woman at MarketSalsa contest prizes are contributed by Bloomingfoods, the City of Bloomington, and other unique local businesses, restaurants, and organizations within our community. You or a representative must be present at the contest to win and claim prizes.
After the judges test the entries, everyone in attendance will have a chance to sample the salsa and judge for themselves, while supplies last. 

To ensure that the judges are able to discern the flavorful nuances of the salsa, we can accept only 20 entries in each category. Contest packets are available on a first-come first-serve basis, so stop in and get yours early – then start testing your salsa in your home kitchen. You may enter the contest by picking up an entry packet (or two) at either Bloomingfoods East or Near West. Packets cost $5 each, and include complete contest rules and instructions.

Not a cook, more of a mover and shaker? There is another dimension of the contest, at 11 am – a Salsa Dance Contest, hosted by the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. For that, please register with Arthur Murray: the price is $4 in advance for each couple; $5 per couple for on-site registration. While the salsa contest results are tallied, you'll be able to watch salsa demos and see couples compete in the dance contest, adding even more excitement to the morning. 

If you have general questions about the salsa contest, please contact Marcia Veldman at Bloomington Parks and Recreation. For inquiries about entry packets and submitting your salsa entry, contact Bloomingfoods East or Near West. If you are interested in representing your business by making a contribution to our contest prize baskets, contact Jean Kautt. Another fun way to get involved is to volunteer for the event, in exchange for a one-time 10% discount Bloomingfoods shopping coupon. If you are interested, please contact Steve Stroup.