Colorado sauce reveals the essence of authentic Mexican food

Chili peppers for Colorado sauce

Good Colorado sauce begins with your dried chili peppers.

By Tom Havran

Overused words like “authentic,” “traditional” and “real” are proffered like bottomless bowls of genetically modified corn chips and watery salsa to describe the corporatized Mexican food that is so sadly pervasive in America these days. (I weep for what Taco Bell has done to Mexican food.)

For your Cinco de Mayo party this year, honor the true culinary spirit of Mexico by making Colorado sauce. My recipe below employs native ingredients with a simple method that will lend Mexican flavors and aromas to an endless array of dishes – from enchiladas to rice and beans.

Of all cuisines, Mexican is my favorite (which is why I’ve made Colorado sauce on countless occasions), and at no other time of the year does it seem less honored or more insulted than when it’s hijacked as part of the Americanized take on Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Every May 5th, we don our cheap sombreros, fake “bandito” mustaches and gather at the local “Mexican” eatery to get boozily obnoxious on overly sweet margaritas, canned beans and gallons of oozing Colby Jack cheese. The people of Mexico, their culture and the food they have given the world deserve a lot more respect. Continue reading