It's Not Tex-Mex
Tex-Mex is Dallas’ go-to for all things south of the border, but if Lakewood couple Leticia and Rodrigo Salas have their way, you’ll soon be looking to the interior of Mexico for inspiration for your next home-cooked meal.
Launched in September, their new line of Mexican cooking sauces, Mölli Sauces, are inspired by traditional regional sauces and use specific peppers and all-natural ingredients to capture that cooked-from-scratch flavor. For now, Mölli Sauces come in two types designed to be used with meat, fish or vegetables.
The Mexico City sauce uses bright red ancho chilies and zesty tomatillos to give it a fiery kick that pairs well with beef and pork. The Morelos sauce, which has a sweet and savory blend of smoky chipotle, tomatillo and tomatoes, works well with fish. The Morelos was inspired by the flavors of the Nahua people of Central Mexico, who have been using these ingredients in their cooking for more than 1,000 years.
Mölli Sauces are inspired by traditional Mexican regional sauces and use specific peppers and all-natural ingredients to capture that cooked-from-scratch flavor.
The Mexico City natives say they were inspired to create the sauces after difficulties finding their native flavors in Texas.
“Being in the U.S., it’s hard to find the more advanced Mexico food flavors,” Rodrigo says. “You can find basic tacos and enchiladas, but you can't find anything more advanced in terms of the authentic Mexican recipes we had in Mexico.”
After spending nearly two years developing the sauces in their kitchen using a mixture of Mexican and local ingredients, the Salases decided to try selling them. It was a big step for the couple, as they had never started their own business before.
“There were a lot of roadblocks,” Rodrigo says. “It’s about finding access to good ingredients, and chile peppers, for example, change their taste and spice level depending on where they’re from. Some of them come from China, which we didn’t want. We had to find the right suppliers of Mexican chile peppers and tomatillos that we could have year round so we could keep the consistency.”
The Mölli Sauces make it easy to create a meal in 20 minutes. You simply brown the meat or vegetables and then add the sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.
The Salases plan to introduce several more sauces to the Mölli line-up in the next six months, including a chunky tomato sauce inspired by a dish from the state of Veracruz as well as two pastes derived from traditional recipes from the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca.
“Oaxaca cuisine, personally, I think it’s the best food in Mexico,” Rodrigo says. “They have the best flavors and spices. The paste is basically a marinade for pork, beef and chicken, and it works great as a base for soups or stews.”
For now, Mölli Sauces are available at Deep Ellum Postal & Grocer, Rudolph’s Meat Market, Loco Cowpoke, White Rock Local Market, Amazon.com and Artizone.com. Rodrigo says they hope to get into Whole Foods and other chain grocers as demand grows.
“We’ve gotten a really good response so far,” he says. “We were one of the highest-selling vendors in September at Artizone, which was a surprise for us. For a start-up that nobody knows of, it’s been pretty good.”