Meet the Man Behind Satan’s Tears
The title probably caught you off guard and Joel Kimball's salsa will do that to you too. He's the man behind the local salsa makin' company Salsa Del Diablo. My friend, Candy, brought over one of his salsas a week ago called Satan's tears. She knows I like hot, spicy stuff so this was right up my alley. I will admit when I saw the name of the salsa I felt a little hesitant.
I took a small scoop of it on a chip. The taste was a perfect combination between hot and tasty. It wasn't too much, but there was enough kick in it to make you perk up. They make four varieties of salsa: Minnesota Mild, Satan's Ketchup, Devil's Delight (pineapple mango) and Satan's Tears. I had to find out about the maker of it once I heard he was from Rochester! So, here's the scoop:
DT: Who are you is my first question! Do you do this full time or is this a side gig?
JK: My name is Joel Kimball. I own Salsa Del Diablo. This is my full-time job at this time, I was a programmer but my job went to India so I decided to give making and selling salsa a try for two reasons. I love to cook and my job won't be shipped to another country in four years.
DT: What made you want to make salsa and make it deliciously hot/spicy?
JK: I started growing Ghost peppers in 2011 and since you really can't eat them (some do), I decided to try making salsa. After messing around and tweaking the recipe for six years, I finally got a consensus on the flavor and the heat level. My first task was to make it taste good. I don't like salsa that just burns your tongue. Even my original batches were killer hot but people kept eating it. It was very strange to experience. Some would tear up because of the heat, but they claimed they couldn't stop eating it... because of the flavor.
DT: What's folk’s favorite one? What's your favorite one and why?
JK: The biggest selling, and the one that has received the most first place awards, is Devil's Delight, the pineapple mango. I can't say I have a favorite. Each heat level has a purpose for my taste buds. The mild in the morning on eggs and breakfast burritos, the medium I use in the afternoon on tacos, chips, burritos, the Pineapple Mango works with everything - chicken, fish, shrimp. Mix it with Mayo and put it on BLTs and ham sandwiches, or as a marinade or a BBQ sauce. Whistle Binkies uses it for their special tilapia dish. The hot is great for BBQ baked beans.
DT: I noticed they're gluten free and vegan. Was that important to you for your consumers?
JK: The most important health aspect for me was to make it lower in salt than any other salsa. We are at 90 milligrams per serving for the red salsas about 1/2 to 3/4 of the amount of salt of most of the other salsa on the shelf. It's also only 75 calories for the red salsas. The pineapple mango is higher in calories but lower in salt at only 45 milligrams per serving.
The gluten and vegan ideas started with friends who had issues with gluten, and some of my co-workers are vegan. But that really just happens when you use top-quality ingredients and no additives. All-natural salsa is always the best salsa.
DT: Who's your inspiration or what's your favorite inspiring quote?
JK: I guess I can say my inspiration is my parents, they have always been supportive of whatever I decided to do or try. Quotes.... I am not quote orientated but the one I do like is "GET ER DONE," which is exactly what I am trying to do.