A tough shell taco with yellow cheese and bitter cream: Name it Tex-Mex or Cal-Mex, nevertheless it’s not genuine Mexican. And it’s not the type of freshly ready, richly flavored meals that Form founder Daniel Lubetzky, who was born in Mexico Metropolis, or his former colleagues Miguel Leal and Rodrigo Zuloaga ate rising up in Mexico.
Altering this American notion of Mexican meals is the trio’s purpose with Somos, their new line of meal kits, sides, salsas and chips.
Leal, the previous CMO at Form and now CEO of Somos, described the model as an “homage to the normal manner of consuming Mexican meals.” And just like the better-for-you, clean-label snack bars that made Form well-known, Somos tries to raise the significance of high quality, easy substances which are gluten free and non-GMO.
“Plenty of these Americanized variations … are all extremely processed, they’ve preservatives. A few of them even have synthetic colours,” Leal stated. “We wish to have a good time substances in precisely the identical manner that my mother used to prepare dinner for us after I was rising up.”
The three mates started growing Somos through the pandemic. Zuloaga, who comes from a household of cooks, formulated the assorted entrees and sides and despatched them to Leal and Lubetzky to organize at residence.
The road options entrees like smoky sliced mushrooms in a chipotle adobo sauce of roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic and floor bay leaves. A tinga — a standard dish sometimes made with shredded hen — as an alternative options fire-roasted cauliflower in a sauce made with tomatoes, chipotle peppers and onions. And the road consists of two sorts of “pea-cadillo” — a yellow pea-based model of the normal Mexican dish picadillo, which is a well-liked taco filling.
Preserving the merchandise plant-based was essential to Somos, to maintain a connection to Mexican culinary custom.
“If I am going manner again into Mexico’s historical past … we did not actually have in our tradition animal-based proteins till the Spaniards got here into the nation and so they introduced it with them,” Leal stated. Somos additionally faucets into the well being halo that plant-based meals have for a lot of shoppers.
The entrees and sides — which embrace Mexican brown rice and cilantro lime white rice, black beans and refried beans — are packaged in 9- to 10-ounce pouches that may be heated up within the microwave in 90 seconds.
Leal stated launching Somos as a meal equipment with quite a lot of entrees and staples supplies a framework for shoppers to strive totally different mixtures in meals reminiscent of tacos, tostadas or breakfast choices like chilaquiles. Somos has tutorial movies on-line that present methods to put together totally different meals. The entrees can serve a household of 4 in underneath 10 minutes, Leal stated.
The pouch packaging is widespread in Mexico for its comfort, he famous. “However the different factor that we actually like is we noticed plenty of Mexican meals within the U.S. is available in cans,” he stated. “This was more healthy and a extra elegant manner of additionally elevating the meals.”
Somos is first launching in beta on-line with two sorts of “Unusually Thick & Crunchy” tortilla chips that include stone-ground corn flour, non-GMO vegetable oil, sea salt and rosemary extract. As an accompaniment, there are 4 salsas, together with roasted tomatillo jalapeño and pasilla pepper varieties, one other with a mixture of 4 chiles — catarina, ancho, serrano and chile de arbol — and a smoky chipotle crimson salsa.
The meal kits will debut on-line in January, with merchandise rolling out at retail that very same month and in February.
Somos means “we’re” in Spanish. The staff picked the title for various causes, together with the truth that it’s pronounced the identical manner in English and in Spanish, and “it is also a fantastic phrase to jot down,” Leal stated.
Additionally they needed a model that created a way of group. The product line is produced in Mexico, with most substances sourced from family-owned farms there. Leal famous that Somos plans to supply a platform for Mexican artists, musicians and social entrepreneurs to help with its branding and to create content material.
In the end, Leal stated that he, Lubetzky and Zuloaga need Somos to deliver folks collectively via meals.
“We expect that as a tradition we’ve much more in frequent than we’ve aside,” he stated. “And we wish the title to mirror that.”