North Idaho

Made in the Northwest: Taco Chic Salsa

Rathdrum, Idaho - It's homemade salsa meant to be shared across the Inland Northwest.

Local company, Taco Chic Salsa, is not only full of flavor but also full of stories.

With the right amount of cilantro and peppers, you get a salsa that makes you come back for more.

Who's going to know salsa better than the Taco Chick herself.

"Everything is just like grandma made it. There's no artificial ingredients, chemicals," said Juanita Carmack.

Carmack is the woman behind Taco Chic Salsa, based in Rathdrum, Idaho.

Everything is cooked in the North Idaho kitchen, whether it's salsa, enchiladas or tamales.

Carmack has been making salsa all her life but it was a friend that suggested it's much more than just a condiment.

"I don't know what I want to do for work. He said 'Juanita your money is in your salsa,'" said Carmack.

What started out in a rented kitchen is now a thriving business. It was the push to bottle the salsa that uncovered the real reason it's so flavorful.

"All of our recipes are over hundred years old recipes. It's all passed down in my family," said the salsa expert.

Her family fled Mexico in 1918 during the revolution. Carmack shared a picture of her mother, just one year old, when she came to the U.S. Carmack's great grandmother is also in the photo. The salsa is Carmack's great grandmother's recipe.

She never knew about the history because no one really talked about it.

"Times were hard then. They don't want to talk about it relive how rough times were."

Now it's an essential ingredient, making each bottle that much more special. It's sold in around 80 stores in Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana. To this day the salsa is still a part of the family, with Juanita looking over production, her husband right by her side keeping a little bit of history alive.

"I didn't even really know that anyone would like it or buy it."