Marcela Salas owns and operates Salas Salsas along with her mother. In her business, she's also integrating generations of Mexican culture passed down from her grandmother. Sioux Falls Simplified caught up to chat with Salas about what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her, and, of course, her favorite salsas.
Before we learn about Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s ‘get smart’ about you. You’re bringing generations of Mexican culture together in your business – can you talk about how culture and business work together in your life?
I was born in Mexico and spent the earlier part of my life in Veracruz Mexico.
One of my first memories cooking with my abuela was helping her clean and prepare octopus.
- She seared pieces of octopus, as the octopus was sizzling she took dried chilis, garlic, onion, and spices blended and poured it over the octopus.
Salas Salsas draws heavily on our culture and rich family history, warm with spice like the embrace and memory of all the strong women that came before me.
- Like the practice of praying before a meal, we bless our plate with the perfect pour of salsa on our food. As we craft our salsas we put into practice what the women in my family never had the opportunity to do.
We’re all about simplicity here. Can you describe what Hispanic Heritage Month is about in one sentence?
Hispanic Heritage month is a celebration of rich pride, heritage, histories, and culture of people with lineage or from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, and South America.
What’s something people most often misunderstand about recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month? (And, if you could politely correct them, what would you say?)
Hispanic indicates from or of Spain.
This term for ethnicity is incorrect and disregards the indigenous roots Latinx peoples have before Spain and Portugal’s colonization.
Ok, quick salsa break. If you had to pick only one salsa to eat for the next year, what would it be?
Gosh! This is a hard one!
The Salas Salsa I would pick for a year would be our Salsa Macha. It’s just such a special salsita! It originates from my home state in Veracruz Mexico! My Salsa Macha is full of texture, flavor, and versatility!
How do you spend your time when you’re not making salsa and other delicious food?
I enjoy the joy of flight. I got my private pilot license in 2019 and enjoy general aviation.
- I am the membership chair of the Women in Aviation Great Planes Chapter so I am involved in the Sioux Falls Air show, Discover Aviation Day, Women in Science, and other events to inspire our youth.
Besides that I love to workout at Coast to Coast downtown and stay active.
What’s your advice for someone who wants to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month or what it’s like to be Latinx in Sioux Falls?
My advice would be to support local Latinx owned and operated businesses, talk with Latinx people, create connections with the community through events and businesses.
Learn our names because the term "hispanic" doesn’t do the brilliant Latinx peoples justice.
Anything else you want the people of Sioux Falls to know about you, your job or Hispanic Heritage Month?
I would like the people of Sioux Falls to know that chips and salsa aren’t a thing in Mexico, we simply drizzle salsa onto every meal.
Find us and our products at The Sioux Falls Food Co-op, Pomegranate Market, Look’s Market.