Salsa Doña Is the Sauce Behind a Breakfast Taco Dynasty

Tacodeli's distinctive salsa has many imitators, but Austinites know the real thing when they taste it.

Tacos for breakfast are excellent. I like their size since you can have two or three of them for breakfast without lying down. Warm foil blankets are portable, adaptable, comfortable, and tasty, especially when topped with Salsa Doña.

I think salsa makes a breakfast taco. I reject your breakfast taco if it lacks Salsa Doña (or a similar variation). I will surely eat that. Throughout, I'll ponder about the missing sauce.

You would assume the tortilla makes the breakfast taco popular and magical, but it doesn't. Fresh-made flour is best, although soggy tortillas work too.

The filling isn't what makes it, but the debate over whether to have migas (scrambled eggs with peppers and crunchy tortilla chips), bacon and egg, or bean and cheese is always fun. The sauce can hide or intensify these elements. A breakfast taco dynasty is fueled by Salsa Doña.

My former hometown, Austin, Texas, runs on them. They are available at coffee shops, pubs, petrol stations, and local markets, and it's hard not to consume one for breakfast. 

Breakfast tacos existed in Austin before 1999, but sauces took off. Tacodeli, which had one shop at the time, founder Roberto Espinosa told me he held a salsa making contest to boost staff morale.

Before working as a line cook at Tacodeli, Doña Bertha Gonzalez, a taco stall owner from Veracruz, brought her salsa in a sour cream jar.

Simply glancing at it, Espinosa realized it was odd. Its deep seafoam green hue, thick, silky sauce, and better-than-expected taste.

It was creamy (remember the sour cream container she brought it in?), thick enough to not ooze out of the tortilla, and wet enough to blend into the eggs and cheese. Also, heat built. The heat was stealthy and relentless once it started.

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