Sausalito, CA—Patagonia Provisions announced the launch of its new spice line, and shared the story of the seed that inspired the line. Rewind 50 years: It’s 1968, and Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia, is camping with friends to climb Monte Fitz Roy with Patagonian gauchos. The group stops to rest while waiting out bad weather, and Chouinard sees the gauchos sprinkling their mutton with chimichurri, a garlicky, tangy Argentine pepper sauce. Chouinard has a taste, and as the company shares, the flavor gets in his head and sticks there, too good to forget.
There are hundreds of variations on chimichurri, according to Patagonia, but Chouinard felt the ingredient that made the sauce so memorable was aji molido (“ground chile”), made from a long red chile know in Argentina as aji criollo.
It took years of searching, the company says, but now with partners in Argentina, Patagonia has found the right sources for organic aji molido. Planted at 8,200 feet in Argentina’s Salta region, the growers believe a combination of extreme altitude, dry air, scant irrigation, and harsh limestone makes the plants fight for survival, resulting in a deep, rich-flavored chile. possible.
Patagonia Provisions’ new collection of organic spices include Organic Aji Molido, Organic Chimichurri Spice Blend, and Organic Taco Seasoning Spice Blend. The spices are packed in recyclable boxes made of paper from FSC-certified sustainable forestry operations. The translucent inner sleeve is NatureFlex, a non-GMO bioplastic from FSC-certified eucalyptus trees.
Along with the spices, Chouinard shared his recipe for making chimichurri sauce.
Yvon’s Favorite Chimichurri Sauce
In a measuring cup, combine 3 Tbs. Patagonia Provisions Chimichurri Spice Blend, 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, and ½ tsp. salt. Fill to the 1-cup line with red wine vinegar. Shake in a jar (or an old wine bottle). Let sit for a day for the fullest flavor. If it’s too tangy, add ½ tsp. honey; to add brightness, stir in minced fresh garlic, oregano and/or parsley.