Eat This Now: Peanut Macha Salsa from Taco Naco KC
The salsa that is going to come in and upend your condiment and hot sauce rotations is less reliant on summer vegetables and more on the humble, wonderful peanut. This is salsa macha, and this Veracruzan specialty most often features chile de arbol peppers, roasted peanuts, garlic, olive oil, and sesame seeds. Thick and spicy, it typically is viewed less as sauce in need of a chip than one ideal for smothering roasted or grilled vegetables and meat. (Don’t let this stop you from putting it on whatever you want—it is good on anything it touches.)
Chef Fernanda Reyes, Culinary Institute of Mexico-trained chef and co-owner of the surprising and wonderful Taco Naco KC pop-up in Overland Park, makes her Peanut Macha with roasted chile de arbol, peanut butter, tomato juice, garlic, and lime. It carries a respectable amount of wave-your-hands-in-front-of-your-face heat, but not enough to obscure the nuttiness, citrusy bite, and saltiness of the sauce. It might feel too hot, but then you find yourself going in for more. And more. Taco Naco KC’s Peanut Macha is the condiment that makes all other peanut sauces wish they were less sweet and more bold. We have underestimated what you could be, peanut salsa, and we have atoned for our sins.
Taco Naco KC’s salsas—there are several more excellent varieties in addition to the Peanut Macha—are available every Saturday at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market distance market, from about 8 a.m. to noon (the market will continue through the winter this year). Even better news: next year, Taco Naco KC plans to open a storefront and taquería in downtown Overland Park.