RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Several Rio Grande Valley residents were selected as finalists in H-E-B’s “Quest for Texas Best.”


The products, “I Love Chamoy – Sugar Free Chamoy” and “The Sweet Blvd – Japanese Cotton Cheesecake” were selected as two of the 10 finalists, a press release from H-E-B stated. 


“I Love Chamoy” was created by Annie Leal from McAllen. Leal, who grew up in Mexico, created the product after her dad was diagnosed with diabetes, according to the release. She sought to make a version of the Mexican sauce that was accessible to those with different dietary needs.

The chamoy is sweetened with monk fruit and features no added sugar or artificial dyes. It also has between 40 and 80% less sodium than most chamoy on the market, the release stated.


“The Sweet Blvd – Japanese Cotton Cheesecake” was created by husband-and-wife duo Manuel Alvarez and Nadia Escalante from Brownsville. The two were searching for Japanese cotton cheesecake in Brownsville, and after unsuccessful attempts to find some, decided to make their own.

In September 2019, they started Sweet Blvd and began offering the cheesecake with a Texas twist. Their cheesecake features a mix of French soufflé and an American cheesecake with an “airy texture,” the release stated.


The competition, which was first launched in 2014, allows for suppliers to be considered for placement on H-E-B shelves and $25,000. H-E-B had a team review over 500 products from across the state before the list was narrowed down to 10 finalists.

The final judging is scheduled to take place on Aug. 24 at Fair Park in Dallas.