Welcome to our second installment of Texas Food Tuesdays sponsored by TexasFood.com!

Today’s victim…er…I mean…product comes from Cactus Lace in San Marcos, TX.

Cactus Lace Cactus Agave Salsa not only has cactus in it (the pads are called Nopales), but it also has Tequila (thus the ‘Agave‘ part of the name).

Here’s the product description from their site: Cactus Agave—Our Green and best-selling salsa! Different from any you have ever tasted, this tomatillo and tequila blend is a winner. Although the alcohol is cooked out, the full flavor remains to bring a slightly sweet taste with a bite to the discerning palate! The heat index falls between Gringo and Grande. Gringo—A “mid-level fire” salsa; jalapeños provide the heat. Grande—Our hottest, but it does not etch glass. The chef adds mas habañeros, but he wants subtle flavors of other ingredients to shine through.

Awwwwww, how cute! They have a heat scale too! If you aren’t from the South you will have to forgive the use of Spanglish in their description. Texans sometime forget that Spanish isn’t a part of EVERY culture in the good ol’ US of A.

Cactus Agave Salsa minus the thorns.

Ingredients:

Tomatillos, Onions, Chillies (UK spelling), Jalapeños (hold the Alt key then 0241 to type the ñ), Tequila, Nopales, Lime Juice, Garlic, Sugar, Vinegar, Habañeros, Cilantro, Salt, Black Pepper

Now they say that this salsa is somewhere between Gringo and Grande, but how does that rank on our Fire scale? Scroll your little bar on down……

Ratings:

FIRE
FLAVOR

Gringo, Grande, Green, Grinch, I don’t really understand their heat scale, but ours it pretty simple. Although this salsa does have the rather Mean habañero in it; the balance of ingredients makes it Medium at best on our scale. I was actually slightly disappointed with the Fire of this salsa. When it says hot on the front of the jar, and I see habs (habañeros) in the ingredients then I expect a pretty good burn…… no such luck. There’s nothing more to see here, please move along.

If cacti were made to be eaten then they wouldn’t be covered in thorns. That being said I wasn’t real impressed with the Flavor of this salsa. Overall the taste is decent, but I noticed a rather bitter finish that I can only attribute to the Nopales or the tequila. I understand the idea of staying true to your name, but when it comes to food the taste should come first. The salsa’s Flavor actually starts out pretty well. The zestfulness of the tomatillos and jalapeños combined with citrus of the lime juice and habs combines nicely. It’s the foreign ingredients that throw everything off at the end. I normally wouldn’t recommend a salsa like this…..

HOWEVER

There is one saving grace. I took a look on the side of the jar and there were serving suggestions. It said: For a cold dip mix well 8 oz. cream cheese or sour cream with 1/2 jar Cactus Lace salsa. So what do you think I did?

That’s right! I broke out the fat free sour cream and made me some Cactus Agave Salsa Dip!

(Please disregard the sour cream on the side of the bowl.)

Those folks at Cactus Lace may not have perfected Cactus Agave Salsa, but they sure do make a mean dip! Something about the sour cream actually eliminated the bitterness, and totally improved the Flavor! If I had to judge the dip alone I think I might even give it a Nice rating. I can imagine it’s probably pretty good with cream cheese too. Believe it or not; the serving suggestions actually saved this dip from being a Grande bomb.

Thanks for checking in on this Texas Food Tuesday (soon to be Wednesday), and try to have fun while you EAT MORE HEAT!SM

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2 Comments

  • Amber 2009 Oct 01 / 11:11

    I love eating nogales. It's really delicious. In CA it is available in a lot of our markets.

    In keeping with the southwest theme I posted some photos of my recent trip to New Mexico on my site if you are interested!

  • redkathy 2009 Oct 01 / 19:08

    Never tried cactus. The dip looks good, not too sure about the salsa.

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