Behold salsa: fresh, piquant and colorful, savior of bland dishes, the lone healthy food on the game-day buffet. And salsa contains multitudes — spicy, fruity; just think where an adventurous chef and a curious child might go with it. Better yet, find out. At noon on Saturday, follow the sound of crunching chips and veggies to the Arcata Plaza, where teams of local elementary school students will be competing in the fourth annual North Coast Youth Culinary AllSTARS Salsa Recipe Competition.
Each team learns about nutrition and is mentored by a local chef who helps the team come up with a zinger. Have you seen Viva Las Veggies in the store? That was last year's winner from South Fortuna Elementary, coached by Patty Lapham from River's Edge. The county education office's nutrition program and the Rising Stars Foundation put this thing on to teach kids about eating right and cooking. It's enough to shame you out of that Hot Pocket. Really. Put it down.
It's all happening during the farmers market, so you can sample, vote and then go home and freestyle a salsa of your own.