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Judges burned at fair contest

John HartKimberly Carrow chops habanero peppers at her Alta Sierra home for her blue-ribbon winning salsa Friday.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Kimberly Carrow’s salsa enchanted the taste buds of 11 judges at the Nevada County Fair Friday.

Carrow , who won the contest last year, was on her way to the fair from work when Brian Lee declared her the winner at 7:30 p.m. of the 14th Annual Salsa Square-off competition.

Carrow’s husband, Jeff, was on hand to accept the coupon for a $100 check and the chip basket given to this year’s No. 1 salsa maker.



“This is a very good salsa,” said Lee, as he and others tasted some of the smoky, spicy salsa.

Winning is nice, but it isn’t everything, say the Carrows, who love the fair.




“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it,” Kimberly Carrow said Thursday, as she chopped jalapenos for the salsa competition. “It’s really fun. Everybody is there,” she said. “A lot of my friends compete with me.”

The 38-year-old Carrow, who has entered food contests at the fair for five years, will also compete in the chocolate cake contest today and the barbecue sauce competition on Sunday.

On Wednesday, she won fourth place in the cheesecake contest, but skipped Thursday’s pie contest. “I’m not great in pies,” she said.

Jeff Carrow, a teacher at Bear River High School, is his wife’s chief cheerleader, taster and baby sitter. On Friday, Kimberly Carrow was at work all day so Jeff confidently transported the bowl of salsa to the fair.

The salsa, he said Friday morning, is “nice and hot without flat-out burning. That’s what we want.”


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