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Salsa Reviews

I'm dieting to lose weight. It turns out that while tostada chips aren't too healthy, salsa is quite good for you. What doctor would object to my eating a puree of tomatoes, onions, and other fruits and vegetables? It's low calorie, running about 120 calories for an entire jar. Shoveling it up with Tostito's Scoops, ideally the Baked variety, I can easily enjoy half of a jar of salsa with relatively few chips. Since I'm making salsa a larger part of my diet, I decided to branch out and try as many salsas as I can. Here's what I've found so far. Although not exclusive, the focus in on the salsa as a dip for chips, not for other uses.

Captain Rodney's Pirates Gold

Mild Caribbean Salsa: 9/10

This salsa is distinctly sweet, with an almost fruity taste with a hint of spice that reminds me of curry. It doesn't start out hot, but after eating a fair amount, a pleasant heat sneaks up on you. The flavors are well integrated, becoming something more than the some of its parts. You do need to be in the mood for sweet. The texture is uneven, with a roughly even mix of large chunks, small blend, and liquid. It's not my ideal texture, but it's okay. The exceptional and unique flavor trumps the texture. Recommended.

Ingredients: tomatoes, onion, cilantro, sugar, sweet peppers, salt, spices, scotch bonnet pepper

Caribbean Mango Salsa: 7/10

A good fruit flavored salsa marred by huge chunks of mango. An inch-cube piece of mango is too much for a salsa.

Mrs. Renfro's

Habanero Salsa: 7/10

This is a fiery salsa with a delicious flavor. The texture is chunky but consistent. The flavors are well integrated. I find it much too hot to eat with chips, but I love it in small doses, or slathered over an omelet. It also adds an excellent flavor and kick to homemade guacamole. Unfortunately its exceptional heat is too specialized to be a general keeper. Recommended for some purposes.

Ingredients: Tomatoes, water, jalapeno peppers, onions, green chile peppers, distilled vinegar, corn starch, salt, habenero peppers, garlic, spices, cilantro

Garlic Salsa: 6/10

Ultimately harmed by too much garlic, to the point of drowning out the othe flavors. On the up side, it has a chunky but consistent texture.

Roasted Salsa: 6/10

A non-memorable salsa. Like Mrs. Renfro's other salsa, it is consistently chunky.

Gallaher's Texas Salsa Company

Ranchero Salsa de las Vaqueros Medium: 6/10

This is a very thin salsa, which I usually like, but as a result became too liquid. There is a faintly smoky flavor, but nothing beyond that. There is a deep heat in the aftertaste, surprisingly hot for a medium salsa. All in all, I wasn't impressed.

Guacamole Salsa Medium: 4/10

This salsa lacks body, texture, and richness of guacamole. It also lacks the brightness or freshness of salsa. It's not noteworthy as either and fails to become something new. Worse, it's tainted by a faintly artificial, plastic flavor. If you want zesty, salsay guacamole, make some guacamole and add some Mrs. Renfro's Habanero Salsa.

Cilantro 'n Lime: 10/10

This is a rock solid salsa made great with the additional zing of lime and cilantro. The additions enhance and brighten the core salsa flavor without drowning them out. Highly recommended.

Desert Pepper Trading Co

Salsa Divino Mild: 7/10

While not terribly memorable, this is a good solid salsa with a good flavor. It has slightly large chunks, but acceptable. Reasonably thick.

Jardine's 7J Ranch

Campfire Roasted Medium Salsa: 5/10

The other flavors in this salsa are drowned out by the smokey flavor.

Santa Barbara

Roasted Garlic: 5/10

There is a good base salsa here, but it's drowned out by too much garlic. The resulting all-garlic show fails as a salsa.

Salsa Xochitl

Medium Chipotle: 5/10

Early bites of this salsa are dominated by an unpleasant plastic flavor. After a few bites, the plastic flavor disappears leaving a good basic salsa flavor with a pleasant warm heat that linger. Unfortunately the initial plastic flavor is a deal breaker.

Ingredients: Tomatoes, tomato puree, water, chipotle peppers, garlic, extra virgin cold press olive oil, herbs, spices and natural flavors.


Salsa Muy Rica: 6/10

A basic salsa flavor. Hints of a plastic flavor that fade quickly. A bit smokey, which I don't care for.

Ingredients: Tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato puree), roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, chiles chipotles, sea salt, herbs & Vitamin E (vegetable).

Garden Fresh Gourmet

Sweet Onion Salsa: 5/10

As advertised, this is a sweet onion salsa. The flavor is dominated by sweet onions, with a strong backing note of tomato. There isn't much else, although some pleasent heat becomes evident after a bit. I can enjoy a nice sweet salsa, but this is too much of a single note.

Ingredients: Tomatoes, onions, green peppers, jalapenos, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, cane sugar, salt, dehydrated celery, fresh garlic, spices, citric acid.

Green Mountain Gringo

Medium: 4/10

I prefer my salsas to have a little body, but it is possible to go too far. Green Mountain Gringo's medium salsa is uninspired and tomato heavy. It reminds me strongly of tomato paste.

Ingredients: Ripe tomatoes, fresh onions, fresh tomatillos, fresh jalapeno peppers, fresh pasilla pepper, apple cider vinegar, fresh cilantro, fresh parsley, fresh garlic, sea salt, spices.


Medium Fire Roasted Red Salsa: 5/10

Another uninspired, boring salsa. It fails to bring anything beyond the basic tomatoes and some heat flavor.

Ingredients: Tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, onions, garlic, vinegar, carrots, salt, paprika extract, sesame oil.

Drew's Salsa

Organic Medium: 7/10

This is a good basic salsa. The tomato flavor is strong, but well integrated. A has a deep lingering heat that lasts a bit longer than welcome.

Ingredients: Organic tomatoes, organic onions, organic garlic, organic jalapeno peppers, organic cilantro, lime juice, organic cider vinegar, sea salt, organic black peper, organic cumin

Kinky Friedman's Private Stock

Politically Correct: 4/10

"Politically correct" can sometimes mean bland, which is a fitting description for this salsa. The salsa is promisingly thick, but it's overwhelmed by slightly sweet tomatoes, giving an impression more of ketchup than salsa. There is no real complexity or depth. There is a flavorless heat that kicks in after a moment, but it's not enough to rescue this salsa.

Ingredients: Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid), Onions, Jalapeno Peppers, Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Vinegar, Salt, Cilantro, Garlic Powder, Spices, Xanthan Gum, Chili Powder

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