Topping a Legacy

A Santarpio cousin trades sauce for salsa.

Pam Granese hails from a legendary Italian bloodline, the Santarpio family of East Boston pizza fame. The Santarpio’s recipe hasn’t changed in, oh, forever; even adding a new topping would be culinary heresy. But by mastering and marketing a Caribbean-style black bean salsa, Granese has proved that change is good. A homemade blend of beans, tender corn, and roasted red pepper, Pam’s Black Bean Salsa has a bold backbone of vinegar and a hint of smoky cumin. It holds its own as a substantial snack with chips, or slathered atop a summer meal of grilled chicken or salmon. Since Granese sold her first pint at a North Shore farmers’ market last year, the salsa has found solid footing in the highly competitive specialty-food circuit. It’s a new family tradition we hope will endure.

16 oz., $6.49 at Whole Foods Market, various locations,; $6.99 at Crosby’s Marketplace, various locations,