When Bernarda Zagas came to the United States from Mexico in 1976, she brought with her the hope for a better life and her family’s salsa recipe. Growing up in Durango, a village with about 300 people, there was no electricity, no running water - but there was fresh ingredients and a family that loved to cook fresh meals every single day.
We’d take the basic ingredients and add salt, cilantro, garlic and other herbs to make a variety of salsas.
When she came to the United States she also met her husband, Norbert Zagas. The Zagas' got married in 1979. Because Bernie did not speak english when she first arrived in the US and Norb was not fluent in Spanish, the couple’s first date was arranged through an interpreter. But the language barrier didn’t keep them from getting to know each other. They were married three years after they first met.
I fell in love with Bernarda, her family and her salsa.
- Norb (Grinning)
Bernie and Norb would make Bernie’s family salsa recipe for themselves and neighbors before their neighbors finally convinced them to market their salsa and get it out there so more people can try it. They spent weeks in their kitchen making batch after batch of salsa, trying to find the right tomato, the right amount of peppers and the right herbs. They didn’t want to sacrifice that quality of their salsa just to make more of it. After a lot of trial and error, they perfected their recipe and sourced the best tomatoes, peppers and spices they could find in order to bring that fresh, family recipe that started early in Bernie’s life and bring it life in other families homes to enjoy.
Today, Norb and Bernie’s daughter Amanda Templeton, and her husband, Drew Templeton have taken the reins from Norb & Bernie's family recipe and will continue on a special tradition in the Zagas household.
This salsa means a lot to us and we hope that everyone can enjoy it as much as we have.
- Amanda & Drew