Forget Pace Picante Sauce, which used to make a big deal of being made in San Antonio instead of phony salsas made in New York City. Forget San Antonio as well as New York City. Look no further than Pueblo and Boulder, Colorado.
Boulder-based entrepreneur Kei Izawa and his partner, Jason Takaki, are launching a new product this weekend that really isn’t new at all. Karami is a Japanese American twist on salsa that tastes pretty great on a lot of food including chips, meats and fish, but its origins are as a Japanese side dish, the kind you might see served next to rice.
Karami, which means “beautiful heat,” has a salty, savory vegetable base that’s enhanced with a subtly sweet flavor and a mildly spicy kick. You can’t put a finger on one overarching taste, which makes it a perfect example of the Japanese word, “umami,” which translates as “pleasant savory taste” and is considered one of the five basic tastes following sweet, sour, bitter and salty. It’s a Japanese concept that’s perfectly embodied in a spoonful of Karami.
What makes it Japanese American, not Japanese?