Taste Test: Salsa
There’s just something about chips and salsa that brings everyone together! We picked up a few bags of L&B Tortilla Chips, a couple six-packs of our favorite Mexican beers and gathered our whole team (plus a few friends) for some salsa sampling. With so many delicious varieties of salsa, cold beer and fun music, it almost felt like a mini vacation.
Even though all salsas have the same basic formula – tomatoes, onions and chili peppers – we were surprised that every salsa we tasted was distinctly different from the others. All salsas were judged on flavor, texture and spice. Here are the results:
The group quickly zeroed in on two favorites: Curt’s Triple Hot and Stonewall Kitchen Mango Lime.
While some of us were initially a little intimidated by the name, we soon discovered that Curt’s Triple Hot actually has just the right amount of heat: spicy and flavorful with a nice bite that’s lingering, but not overpowering. As one tester commented, “The perfect Minnesota spicy!” This blended, restaurant-style salsa has a robust tomato flavor and is great served with chips.
With chunks of sweet mango in every bite, Stonewall Kitchen Mango Lime has a unique combination of sweet and heat that sets it apart from traditional salsas. Its chunky texture makes it perfect for recipes, pairing well with pork chops, chicken or fish tacos. As one tester suggested, this mild, summery salsa would be terrific served alongside a more traditional spicy red salsa.
THE RUNNERS UP
BEST GREEN SALSA
L&B Tangy Tomatillo Verde
“Wow, this is a tomatillo salsa I would actually buy!” exclaimed one tester. With notes of cilantro and just enough tomatoes to balance the acidity of the tomatillos, this mild salsa verde got a thumbs-up all around. Its fresh flavor and smooth texture begs for a basket of tortilla chips and a cold beer. This salsa would also be wonderful mixed with shredded chicken for a tangy taco filling.
GREAT FOR TACOS
Desert Pepper Salsa Diablo
Another fiendish-sounding name…another Minnesota-nice salsa! Testers agreed that this salsa had a bold, tangy spice, but nothing too hot to handle. Made with red chiles, it has an earthy flavor and a nice amount of heat. A complex salsa, great for spooning over your favorite tacos!
HOT & SPICY
Newman’s Own Habanero Hot
This thick, smooth salsa has smoky undertones and a good, spicy kick. “The heat sneaks up on you!” one tester said. Finally, a salsa for people who like it hot! And with 100% of the profits donated to charity, that’s a salsa you can feel good about, too.
We also tested the following salsas:
- Curt’s Black Bean Chipotle
- Frontera Chipotle
- L&B Fire Roasted Tomato & Garlic
- L&B Corn & Black Bean
While these salsas got quite a few nods, their flavor and spice were no match for the winners above.
Hold your own salsa taste test during your next happy hour gathering! It’s a fun and easy appetizer – and trust us, your friends will love it. Look for all these top-selling salsas in our grocery aisles.