Red, chunky, smooth, authentic, flaming, mild, fruity, boozy, lime twist, juicy – just a few things screamed by salsa labels. Who else has walked down the salsa section to grab a jar and been flabbergasted at the sheer overabundance of choices? Now I will never be able to try every kind out there, but here are 4* of the ones I randomly grabbed from the shelves, from the least beast to the taste bud king.
Coming in as the least beast:
Desert Pepper Salsa $2.99
This salsa has a rich dark, roasted red color with visible bits of pale garlic, multi-colored pepper seeds, and flecks of charred skins. So thick the mush holds the shape it lands on the plate in and in the scoop of the chip.
Very tomato heavy at first, so mild I wondered why pepper is in the name or where the garlic was hiding. Then the heat started to build on the back of the tongue until it coated the entire palate in a roasted pepper haven that blocked out all the other flavors trying to be present. Sadly, the tequila never made it to the party. Did it and the other flavors run away like my nose tried to do?
A small step up, coming in at #3:
Veronica’s Mild Salsa $3.99
This one is vivid red, teeming with small chunks of onion and tomato with obvious fresh cilantro throughout. Looks like a fresh made salsa. It’s juicy enough the chips kinda drip like a spring drizzle.
Salty, tomatoey – almost like ketchup or overripe tomatoes. Still it has crunchy texture to the onions. Cilantro is a star flavor with the tomatoes with the onions running behind. It’s very mild with no kick in the pants to fear from the listed garlic or peppers.
Almost at the top:
Pace Restaurant Style $2.99
This salsa also is thick enough it holds its shape. With a deep red, saucy texture sheltering visible chunks of tomatoes, peppers, apple, and seeds.
Sweet apple is first taste out of the gate with hint of the bourbon meandering through the light, lingering pepper tingle on the backend. Watchout though the heat quickly builds after a few bites that smooth tomato just can’t calm.
And the taste bud king:
La mexicana Salsa $3.99
Definitely the prettiest to look at! With big, chunky tomatoes, onion and cilantro swimming around the brilliant yellow mango and vivid peaches. Though it’s very juicy around the chunks, it’s nothing like baby food mush of some salsas.
Just mmmmm!! It’s so fresh tasting like it was made this morning and with no heat, it was a refresher for the palate. The mango tasted fresh cut and is elevated by the tart tomato and sweet peaches. Balanced out with onion and cilantro that accentuates the crisp, cool feel of this salsa. I wanted to scream “Mine!” and eat a bowl full with a bag of chips.
*The guacamole didn’t make it to the list because it was so un-salsa like I just couldn’t rank it.