Salsa Momma opens Alpine Meadows Market

The colorful selection of produce at Alpine Meadows Market. | Priya Hutner

Whether it’s spicy or mild; red, green or orange; made with fruit or with veggies, salsa is one the best vehicles for tamales, burritos, tacos, chips and almost anything Mexican. Katherine Gonzalez, aka Salsa Momma, has been perfecting the art of salsa for years. After opening Chúla Artisan Eatery in La Quinta two years ago, Gonzalez took on a new project in Tahoe and recently opened Alpine Meadows Market located at the base of Alpine Meadows Road and State Route 89. The full-service specialty market was vacated by Tahoe Food Hub in the spring, which moved to the Truckee Tahoe Airport.

Salsa Momma Katherine Gonzalez holding up some handcrafted wooden signs at the opening reception. | Priya Hutner

Salsa Momma is a staple at Tahoe City Farmers Market, Romano’s Farmers Market in Beckwourth and Truckee Community Farmers Market. Gonzalez makes the best small-batch artisan salsas around and her tamales and organic tortilla chips are fabulous. Gonzalez pays homage to her Hispanic heritage with the foods she prepares; her tamales routinely sell out. She makes three kinds: pulled pork with a red chile sauce, chicken and scallion with tomatillo sauce, and veggie with queso fresco, white corn and poblano pepper. Salsa Momma offers three different types of salsa: a green roasted tomatillo and garlic salsa, a mild roasted organic plum tomato salsa and a spicy garlic salsa.

Salsa Momma organic tortilla chips. | Priya Hutner

Alpine Meadows Market sports a selection of artisan cheeses, fresh produce, meats, baked goods from Sierra Bakehouse in Truckee and Sugar Pine Cakery in Tahoe City. There is a selection of goods and products from local producers, farms and vendors. Paine Orchards is one of the farms Gonzalez procures her fresh produce from, as well as the farm’s olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Nitro coffee and kombucha on tap are also available. Soon, she expects to provide a selection of beer and wine.

“We’ll offer products from local and small producers that make clean food that is delicious, real, local and is good for everybody. Everyone here is geared to clean eating that is flavorful.”

— Katherine Gonzalez

Gonzalez’s vision is “to provide a local gathering spot” for the community.

“We’ll offer products from local and small producers that make clean food that is delicious, real, local and is good for everybody. Everyone here is geared to clean eating that is flavorful,” she says.

Sierra Bakehouse granola on display at the market. | Priya Hutner

In addition to small-batch and artisan-food curators, Gonzalez also sells kitchen needs such as organic hand towels, aprons, cloth napkins and other handmade items. She features earth-friendly products including vegan dental floss (that doesn’t use bees wax), laundry detergent, dish soap, refillable dishwasher pods and body-care products that are biodegradable in eco-friendly packaging.

Alpine Meadows Market will host workshops this winter. Participants can expect to learn how to pickle, make kombucha and Gonzalez’s delicious tamales. Black Rock Refill will teach classes on how to eliminate plastic from your life.

Sourcing responsibly is important to Gonzalez. She will offer prepared to-go sandwiches, wraps and dinner options for people on the move, such as skiers and hikers. The market is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. | (530) 236-0636, @alpinemeadowsmarket