It’s craftsmen like Arturo Gandarilla that bring an almost tangible sense of community to the Boulder Farmers’ Market.
Standing behind a rainbow of samples, he and his family greet each customer with a lighthearted smile and a fair warning against the hottest of his salsas.
Now a Saturday staple, La Esmeralda made its debut at the Wednesday Farmers’ Markets in Boulder and Longmont in 2006. Gandarilla sells empanadas, tamales, chips, and tortillas to vehicle the main attraction: homemade salsa.
He spent over seven months perfecting each of his six salsas, which range from mild pico de gallo with cucumber, to punchy habanero orange.
Gandarilla turns his handmade masa flour into wheat and corn tortillas, available in large and small sizes. He offers four types of frozen tamales and 12 varieties of empanadas, veggie-friendly as well as those fit for the Boulder carnivore.
Art takes care in his craft and takes care of his customers. He tops each container of salsa with a ration of ice before placing it in a knotted plastic bag.
As a loyal customer, I can vouch for the quality of his fare. His tortillas are soft and his chips, perfectly salted. With six to choose from, there’s a salsa to satisfy anyone’s taste buds (I recommend the avocado).
A market favorite for seven years, Tortilleria La Esmeralda will become a permanent part of Boulder’s food scene in late November. The to-go stand will host salsa tastings and serve ready-to-eat empanadas and tamales out of it’s Arapahoe & 38th location.
Header photo courtesy of boulderfarmers.org