British Columbia

Mexican mother-daughter duo bring traditional food to forefront

North Vancouver's Andrea and Patricia Blendl felt there was a lack of Mexican flavours in the city, especially with take home options, and from there, Solecito foods was born.

Andrea and Patricia Blendl are the women behind Solecito foods

Patricia and Andrea Blendl are growing a tasty family business 5:35

Andrea and Patricia Blendl, a mother-and-daughter duo from North Vancouver, felt there was a lack of Mexican flavours in the city, especially with take-home options.

And so, Solecito foods was born.

The Blendl's created Solecito Foods because they found there was a need for local Mexican take home food in the market. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

It's one thing to cook for your family, and another to turn it into a business.

However, Patricia Blendl says it's in her DNA.

"I've always cooked. I took my first cooking class when I was six years old," she said.

"This is our thing, and doing this as a family is the best feeling."

Patricia and Andrea Blendl of Solecito Foods visit the Our Vancouver set. (Evan Mistsui/CBC)

"We decided we would start our own business and start to bring some of our favourite Mexican products out for the local community," says Andrea Blendl.

Patricia Blendl had years of experience in the culinary industry but is now working in the family business. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

In addition to selling their different salsas, the two women also post their favourite recipes on their website.

One of those is Mexican cactus salad, made with nopales, or cactus pads, an important ingredient in the country's cuisine.

This salad is made with nopales. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Mexican Cactus Salad (Nopales)

Recipe by: Patricia Blendl, Solecito Foods

Nopales, more commonly known as prickly pear in Canada, are very rich in vitamins and minerals. They have a slightly tart flavour and crisp texture, which makes this salad a great addition to tacos, meat or egg dishes.

While it is hard to find fresh nopales in Canada, you can find canned or bottled nopales in many specialty food stores across British Columbia.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups nopales, sliced
  • 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced (remove pulp) — optional
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano (can substitute with regular dried oregano)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: sliced radishes, avocado, or feta cheese

Instructions

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Serve and top with your favourite Solecito salsa.

You can also serve this as a taco using fresh tortillas.

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