Hye Market’s smoked pork belly sandwich with fermented peach salsa. Photo: Tiffany Hofeldt


  • 2 cups peeled and cubed very ripe peaches
  • 1 very ripe tomato, cubed
  • 4 mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/8 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 diced red onion


Mix all ingredients together while slightly smashing them in a bowl. Place in a sealable jar and let sit on a counter with no drafts or sunlight.

This fermentation process is called lacto-fermentation. This process works because harmful bacteria do not like much salt. The bacteria that we want in this process is called lactobacillus, which is on almost every vegetable or fruit. This process turns the natural sugar in the fruit to lactic acid, which is a natural preservative. This is not the same thing as canning, however. It will have a shelf life of about 2-3 weeks; it is not a method for long-term preservation.

“This is a great salsa even if you don’t want to wait for the fermentation. It goes great with any kind of smoked pork or fish. We use it on our smoked pork belly sandwich, which we cure in-house and smoke.”

Matt Church is chef at the historic Hye Market in Hye, between Stonewall and Johnson City—in the heart of Texas Hill Country peach orchards.

The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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