Last week we had the delightful opportunity to chat with Julie Jeremy, the founder of Native Kjalii Foods—
Native Kjalii Foods is a local producer of fresh fire-roasted salsas, tortilla chips and savory cooking sauces. All of Julie’s products are made with all natural gmo-free, gluten free ingredients. Julie created her recipes without any added artificial flavors such as garlic powder or preservatives, so all the wonderful flavors you taste come from the natural fresh ingredients listed on her products.
So how did Native Kjalii Foods come to be?
Growing up in San Francisco, Julie often went to the farmers’ market with her mom—fresh, delicious ingredients were a big deal in her family and they never ever ate frozen dinners. Twenty years ago, she came up with the idea of buying the surplus fruits and vegetables from the farmers’ market to make fresh fire-roasted salsas to sell at her own stand. Julie’s salsas were so well received that only a year later she started selling in high-end retail and boutique markets!
The inspiration for her salsa line stemmed from her love of Mexican cuisine. While she was studying in San Diego, Julie would travel down the coast to Oaxaca during school breaks. This is the region that takes claim to the invention of mole sauce. She really enjoyed the clean simple ingredients used in Oaxacan cuisine and wanted to make a salsa to emulate that.
The funny thing is Julie was actually afraid of cooking until she discovered these simple Mexican ingredient meals. Julie grew up in a household with a chef as a mother and spent time around renowned chefs such as Mark Miller and Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley. For a long time, Julie didn’t even know boxed mac & cheese existed since her mom made extravagant meals that were intimidating to replicate. Her mom even made chicken nuggets from scratch! Upon discovering Mexican cuisine, Julie realized that she could still cook easy, straight-forward meals using whole ingredients without complicated recipes.
We absolutely love that Julie encourages clean, simple, fresh ingredients. Cooking a quality meal from scratch doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated. Julie gave us some great recipe ideas including topping scrambled eggs with gruyere and Native Kjalii Foods’ Roasted Green Salsa. She also made her homemade mac ‘n’ cheese for us to try with her green salsa and we must say it was pretty amazing. Who knew salsa and mac ‘n’ cheese would go so well together? We highly recommend giving it a try!
Thank you Julie for creating amazing salsas to jazz up any meal, that also taste great with just her tortilla chips!