Sunday, January 22, 2012

Product Review: Salpica Mango Peach Salsa

I bought Salpica Mango Peach Salsa from my food co-op a couple of months ago with an immediate use for it -- only I wound up not needing it because what type of party needs three different (but similar salsa), especially when two are fresh? Not mine.

Anyway, I opened this salsa the other day, only to realize how runny it is. It's a bit like chunky, flavored tomato juice--which makes sense because filtered water is the second ingredient. The flavor is good (a little sweet, like it should be with fruit -- but did it also need sugar? Really? I don't think so) if you like slightly sweeter salsas, but that's not really my preference. I prefer the salsas that incorporate fruit without incorporating additional sugars. It's not particularly strong on onion or garlic flavors, for a salsa, or of the tangy bite of hot peppers, even though it's in the "Medium" hotness range. These are all things you should keep in mind if you're buying this salsa and have particular ideas about how bottled salsa should be.

However, I do appreciate that I can see evidence of roasting. And peaches and mangoes. And the occasional chunk of something like a pepper, tomato, or onion. But really, when I'm looking for salsa, I'm looking for something with more substance than this particular salsa, which I had trouble keeping on a chip--much less on veggies (which, is sometimes my preference -- like today, when I didn't really want corn chips).

The label claims "made in Texas" but my bottle, at least, is distributed from Illinois, which isn't so much of a surprise since this is where Rick Bayless (as an institution) is based and Salpica salsa comes through the Frontera supply chain. Either this is a horrible inefficiency or a marketing scheme. Anyone remember the "Made in New York City?? Get a Rope" commercial? There are a few versions out there, but when I was reading the label (more carefully at home so I could write this review than I did in the store) that's the commercial I immediately conjured.

It claims "no preservatives" and "all-natural," which are both technically true if you're talking about artificial preservatives, but most salsas contain preservatives -- citric acid in some form, usually -- especially ones that have been bottled. I'll take my citric acid and spare myself the case of botulism, thanks.

All in all, I might buy this salsa again. If it was on sale. And if the other salsas nearby didn't appeal, or if I was buying it with a specific salsa need -- I just can't think of what such a need might be.

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