The bowl of salsa at the left was a big winner at last weekend's salsa festival in Oxnard.
Judges chose it as the best medium salsa in the professional category, which was open to restaurants and markets. From there, it rose even higher, defeating 20 other entries to become the judges' choice.
Want to taste it? You can do that at Margarita Villa in Ventura, the restaurant that submitted it.
As a judge assigned to the "medium" table, I was amazed at what contestants considered to be a medium salsa. The seven entries in that category ranged from totally mild to excruciatingly hot. The Margarita Villa salsa was classic, a really pleasant salsa to eat with chips.
The people's favorite was a green salsa from Tresierras Supermarket in Oxnard.
Other winners were Best Mild and Best Red, both won by BG's Cafe. The Best Green was entered by Vallarta Supermarket. The Best Hot came from El Dorado Mexican restaurant, It's at top left in the photo, which shows how the salsas were presented to the judges, tagged with a number but otherwise anonymous.
The winner in the Best Special division was a strawberry salsa entered by The Kitchen in downtown Oxnard, where the judging took place.