Food Festival Review – Oxnard Salsa Festival

Last weekend, I attended the 19th annual Oxnard Salsa Festival.  The event is a huge celebration of non-stop salsa dancing, marketplace shopping, salsa tasting, international foods and children’s activities.

Food festivals typically provide the best of an area’s local cuisine.  Knowing that Vallarta Supermarket in Oxnard  is the best Hispanic market I’ve ever frequented, I figured that the venue was in a prime area.  Obviously, I would not feel the same if the event was hosted in New York City.

Entrance to the salsa tent

Entrance to the salsa tent

 

Tray, tent guide and chips

Tray, tent guide and chips

For only $5.00, you are able to have 10 salsa tastings.  Upon payment, they hand you a tray to hold your cups of salsa, a micro guide to the tent, a small bag of chips and ten tasting tickets.  Each ticket entitles you to one 1 oz cup of salsa.

6 tastings, chips & a cold beer

6 tastings, chips & a cold beer

I enjoyed a number of the salsas, however, I  was disappointed that except for Ana’s, the vendors didn’t them packaged for sale.  I couldn’t resist the labeling and purchased a pint of Ana’s Spice for Mexicans.  After coming home, I noticed that it contained habanero chiles.

A beer garden was attached to the salsa tent.   Sponsored by Budweiser, they had a trailer that provided Bud, Bud Lite, Stella Artois and Shock Top Belgian White.

Some of the salsa vendors included:

While I’ve made homemade salsa and enjoy it immensely, I don’t consider myself to be an expert in this area.  After tasting about 8 varieties, it was clear that the Oxnard Salsa Festival is the venue to try premium salsa.  You won’t find the garden variety salsa roja or salsa fresca.  Almost all of the vendors had an interesting blend that exhibited their salsa expertise.

Janeen Puente Orchestra

Janeen Puente Orchestra

While I was there, the Janeen Puente Orchestra was performing on stage.  I later found out that she is the granddaughter of the late Tito Puente.  Six different bands performed over the two day event.  As you might imagine, salsa music really energized the audience.

Chef demonstrations were also conducted throughout the weekend.  Second place Master Chef Season 2 winner, Chef Adrien Nieto, born and raised in Ventura Country , provided demonstrations both days.  Also present was  Chef James Du from the White Rabbit Café/Truck.

Fish Tacos from Sabor

Fish Tacos from Sabor

 

carne asada tacos from BG Tacos

carne asada tacos from BG Tacos

Vallarta Grillin'

Vallarta Grillin’

A large number of food vendors were present.  Vallarta Supermarket was strategically placed near the entrance with their huge barbeque grill.  Sabor and BG’s Tacos had long lines.  The Strawberry Company from Oxnard had gorgeous looking strawberry confections.

Strawberry desserts from the Strawberry Co in Oxnard

Strawberry desserts from the Strawberry Co in Oxnard

I hope I can convince my family to attend next year’s event.

Oxnard Salsa Festival

http://www.oxnardsalsafestival.com/

 

 

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Follow Bryan on twitter for the latest and greatest in food trucks and street food. @btsunoda.

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