The french fries begin to bend between the lemon and the flood of thick red sauce that falls on them. This street spectacle is one of the most delicious in Mexico City. During the 1990s, one or two pesos were highly coveted by children, because outside schools those who sold this potato delicacy in a bag would offer the amount of Valentina sauce for that price because they knew that if they left the bottle around, it would be emptied in seconds.

This sauce, terror of gastritis and colitis, is one of the most popular in Mexico. It is part of the Salsa Tamazula company, which began producing spicy flavors in 1960 and over the years launched Valentina and Costa Brava on the national market. Today it has several presentations, but the most consumed are the classic black label, for those who do not get enchiladas so easily; and yellow, less spicy.

On its label, the black label product announces that it is composed of water, dried chile de árbol, acetic acid, iodized salt, seasonings, spices, and 0.1% sodium benzoate as a preservative. While the yellow label advertises the same ingredients and in addition to the dried chiles, it adds puyas.

The ingredient that shines the metal

One of its most controversial components is acetic acid, which reacts on contact with metals. Among its controversies, it was revealed that in 2013, in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Valentina sauce was used to polish metal statues. Due to acetic acid, vinegar and sodium, if consumed in excess, it is possible that this sauce contributes to damage to the body by increasing gastric juices, so its use should be moderate.

In the Consumer Magazine of July 2021 they analyzed products that have a high amount of sodium and Valentina was mentioned. According to this publication, this product contains 487 milligrams of sodium per 30 grams of sauce. In addition, the amount of food with which it is served must be considered.

In a study on the Quality of French Fries, it was detailed that a 100-gram bag of potatoes has 770 mg of sodium; if the 30 grams of sauce are added, 1,257 mg of sodium would be consumed, close to 70 percent of the amount recommended by the World Health Organization per day.

A homemade recipe

The flavor of the Valentina sauce can be replicated in any kitchen. All you need is 40 grams of chile de árbol, 40 grams of piquin chili powder, 2 cups of water, half a cup of apple cider vinegar, five tablespoons of cornstarch, and 3 tablespoons of salt.

The chiles are cleaned, deveined, and roasted in a comal. Meanwhile, boil the water and add the cornstarch when it is boiling. Everything must be removed from the fire. This mixture is taken to the blender with the chiles and ground with the rest of the ingredients. That's it! Ready to dip any snack.

Sources: El Financiero