If you are looking for that perfect gift to take home to family and friends that is 100% West Virginian, you need to stop by the Blue Smoke Salsa shop in Ansted, WV.I promise, it’s worth the trip. But don’t just take my word — our very own Governor was stirring a pot of bubbling salsa just a few weeks ago. That’s Gov. Joe Manchin III at the Blue Smoke kitchen in the photo above.
Yes, it’s harvest season, and at Blue Smoke Salsa, this is the time of year you can see it all come together. In fact, they even provide tours of the facility and taste-testings so you know exactly what you’re getting in every jar of wonderfully blended flavors.
Just the other day, I had the opportunity to visit with the Blue Smoke lady herself, Robin Hildebrand. She started this business about 16 years ago in the kitchen basement of her home. She’s come a long way from those days, and now has a beautiful retail shop/coffee shop right next to the salsa production line on Main Street in Ansted.
Back to my story: So I met with Robin the other day, and she offered me a glass of fresh peach tea. Now, I am a sucker for a tasty glass of tea, but this was more than my taste buds anticipated.
This isn’t just tea with a squirt of peach flavoring. It’s the real deal. She uses fresh peaches in her fruity peach salsa and extracts the juiciest juice for her homemade peach tea.
What was also nice about my visit, is that she plays great tunes in the background, there is a comfortable sitting area — with the kind of chairs that say, “Relax, stay a while and enjoy your tea.” And the glass wasn’t just any old glass you would buy from the restaurant warehouse; it was a beautiful shade of ocean blue. It almost seemed hand-blown.
It was a great experience, indeed. One I am pleased to share. Stop by for a visit, and let us know you think.