Despite each country’s unique culture and differences, a commonly shared cornerstone of Hispanic and Latino cultures is the importance of family — and food. Everybody contributes and everybody eats.

When Aurora resident Chef Lindita (and the owner of Lindita’s Salsa & Spice Company), was a child, her father told the family that they were going camping — or so a young Lindita thought. What he truly meant was that the family would be working in los campos, picking tomatoes in the fields. The experience, Lindita says, was life-changing.

Lindita's Kitchen TV program in Aurora, Colorado“That was the first part of my life, you know, growing up in a big family and knowing that I had responsibilities to help bring in food, and pay for clothing.”

As an adult, Lindita moved to Denver with her husband, who was in school earning his master’s degree in architecture.

“For me, it was an adventure,” she says. “I’ve always loved adventure.”

For her part, Lindita worked two jobs to support the family while her husband finished school.

“I got involved with Mi Casa Resource Center for Women,” she says, which helped to enmesh her in the Latino community in the Denver area. Once her husband was out of school, Lindita knew she wanted to start a business of her own. “I was always into the food industry […] I knew I wanted to do something with these tomatoes,” she notes.

The answer was her own unique take on salsa. Lindita’s Salsa is an instant salsa blend that comes in various heat levels — just add tomatoes and you’re good to go.

“I wanted to make it an all-natural product with no added salt because my mom was diabetic and had health issues,” says Lindita. “So I created a salsa mix that was going to be healthy for my mom.” The first companies Lindita worked with were skeptical, insisting that she needed to add salt. “I just wanted it to be all-natural, no sodium and to be earthy. It took off from there,” Lindita laughs. “I wanted to do something that showed the flavors of our foods, our spices. The salsa was the first part.”

Lindita didn’t stop there. Her business has grown over the years into much more than her signature instant salsa blend, including a cooking show called “Lindita’s Kitchen” and up until the Covid pandemic, cooking classes at the Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being. This doubled as outreach to the Latino community in the area.

“[Dahlia Campus] is also a medical health center for mental illness,” Lindita adds. “They’re geared towards people of color, but the Latinos weren’t coming. So we reached out with food.”

That lasted for about three years until the pandemic made everything public come to a screeching halt. While the classes did not resume after the pandemic lockdowns, Lindita is still available for personal parties and events through the contact form on her website.

Despite the plethora of cooking shows already in existence, Lindita was certain she wanted to start one of her own. Her first foray into cooking on TV came when she was asked to fill in for the host of a show on PBS who was dealing with health issues at the time.

“I was doing a lot of interviews in the community,” she smiles. “I was bringing people in that were making a difference.” It was a huge success and led to Lindita suggesting that the show include a cooking segment. “We need to showcase our food, to educate others and the younger generations,” she says. It was a hit. This successful venture ultimately resulted in her creating her own cooking show, “Lindita’s Kitchen,” on AuroraTV.

Her recipes are a combination of family recipes and her own inventions. True to form, her show is a family affair.

“My son is my producing director,” she says. “He works with me and we produce these shows.”

It is important to Lindita that her show be intimate, involving elements of storytelling and her culture in addition to the food.

“I’m just bringing viewers into my kitchen,” noting that she sees food as something bigger than simple sustenance. “It’s different than other cooking shows because there’s a story behind my recipes,” she says. “My mom used to say not to forget where you came from. How can I forget? It’s who I am. A lot of my friends didn’t want to let anyone know they were farm workers. And to me, I’m proud of it. I’m proud I helped put food on the table.”

Now, she helps others put food on their own tables by teaching them how to make it.

Does she have a favorite recipe to showcase and teach? 

“Arroz con pollo,” she says. “That is one of my favorites that I actually taught at Dahlia. Everyone has their own spin on it, but it’s always just such a comfort food. It’s very traditional […] You can taste the love.”

Her cooking also heavily features Lindita’s Salsa, as one might imagine.

“People always want different recipes to try. A lot of my food isn’t, for example, vegan. But I give people options on how to make it that way.” 

Lindita sees her cooking channel and salsa as a tool for those who want to learn to cook.

“You want to taste the flavors, but it’s all about the spice. It’s like hot sauce — you put that on everything. And that’s Lindita’s. I will add that to a recipe and it enhances the flavor. So for those who don’t know how [to cook], it’s perfect.”

Immortalizing and capturing these recipes in a way others can follow is important to Lindita. Food is tradition and food is culture to Latinos, but in many families, these recipes were never written down.

“My mother used to say, share our recipes! My tía Ramona had the best buñuelos recipe. They would melt in your mouth. So delicious! Mine don’t do that, I’ll be honest. And she took the recipe to the grave with her. It was a family secret. I want the secret out. If I can leave people with something, I’ve done my job.”

So what does the future hold?

“I’d love to have a show where I can travel around, go to Arizona and northern Texas and other places and showcase different Latino foods. It’s all so different depending on where you are,” she says. “That’s my next step in life, I think.”

Lindita’s Salsa can be purchased on the company website as well as on Amazon. Locally, Lindita’s Salsa products can be found at Nick’s Garden Center & Famer’s Market and The Local at Southlands, as well as various mom-and-pop stores around the area. The “Lindita’s Kitchen” show can be seen on AuroraTV and her YouTube channel, with new recipes going up monthly.

Outside of buying the product, “the best way to support us is through engagement online,” says Lindita. “Go on YouTube and give a thumbs up! Share a recipe with a friend, all of that.”

As the saying goes — like and subscribe.