Valentina: the woman behind the name, plus a curious fact

Today, rather than presenting something from afar, we are going to talk about a local product, something that has sat with us Mexicans at the table for years, and which has a special place in our hearts – Valentina salsa.

Cacahuates con salsa valentina
Photo: Salsa Valentina

Before Valentina

Valentina salsa was invented and patented by the Tamazula Group originally from Jalisco. But Valentina was not their first success story. Before Valentina, there was Tamazula, another hot sauce that was at the time much loved, and which had completely eclipsed the commercial competition, El Torito. The clamor over Tamazula was such that new products for tacos, stews, and seafood began to emerge from the makers within months, including Valentina and Costa Brava sauces.

alitas con salsa valentina
Photo: Salsa Valentina

Why Valentina?

Valentina Ramírez Avitia was a 17-year-old girl when, dressed as a man and with cartridge belts across her torso, she joined Francisco I. Madero’s Revolutionary Army. Knowing that women were not allowed in the ranks, Valentina kept her true identity hidden using the pseudonym Juan Ramírez, allowing her bravery and skills to speak for her more than the societal roles among which she lived. She managed to rise to the rank of lieutenant, however, her military career ended when one of her comrades removed the hat from her head, exposing her long braided hair. Grupo Tamazula seized on this bit of history to declare their salsa as brave as this woman (brava being a synonym for courageous). 

valentina ramirez avitia salsa valentina revolucion
Photo: Clarín

Valentina World Tour

Valentina salsa is obviously well-known throughout Mexico, however, it has also gained popularity throughout the Americas, from the southern nations up into US states like Texas, California and Illinois, and even Canadian cities such as Ontario, Ottawa, and Toronto. It can be found as far as Spain, though Grupo Tamazula assures us that beyond distribution, they seek to continue making excellent products.

michelada salsa valentina
Photo: Salsa Valentina

And for a bonus fun fact – some percussionists confirm the effectiveness of Valentina for cleaning cymbals and other metal percussion.

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