Food & Drink

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Rio Verde Gourmet Products

Rio Verde's gourmet sauces are a thing of foodies' dreams.

Credit: Mark S. den Boer

Locally made artisan sauces and salsas concocted right off Vancouver’s Main Street

There are moments every foodie remembers; the best pasta sauce, a unique flavour in an international dish, or a salsa that screams fresh ingredients without artificial flavours. And that is what Roberto Carrasco, president and chef at Rio Verde Gourmet Products, has been creating for the past four years.

His recipes for the Cuban-inspired sauces and salsas have been passed down from generation to generation. Says Carrasco, “My grandmother Ana Rosa Tomasetti is responsible for creating the Mango Sauce and Pineapple/Ginger Relish, and I added hot peppers to make their spicy counterparts.”

The eight different sauces, salsas and relishes are divine with chips, in stews or even as fish marinade. “We encourage our customers to experiment,” explains Carrasco. But if you are unsure of what to mix, Carrasco has the answer, “we publish a pamphlet with food recommendations and suggestions for each of our products.”

Located near Main Street and East 11th, Rio Verde Gourmet Products uses Kosher and Hallal procedures to ensure essential purity and strives to use mostly local produce that is “organic” or from a “no-pesticide hothouse.”

The products are artisan-made by hand in small batches and therefore too expensive to produce for wholesale prices.

If you’re craving some, look for Rio Verde at the Granville Island Public Market, at different farmers markets in the summer or email to place an order.

Heather Lochner is a stay at home mother and a freelance writer. She loves combing the neighbourhoods of Vancouver to find locally owned shops and restaurants. Together with her two children, husband and dog, she lives aboard her sailboat in Vancouver. When not at work or school, the Lochners are out cruising the B.C. coast.