That Green Sauce, by HEB

As with any large grocery store, HEB, a chain indigenous to the South Texas area, features its own line of competitively-priced products bearing the retailer’s name. Your mileage may vary in terms of the average store brand’s quality, but I’ve become quite the fan of most of HEB’s products. Often, they are indistinguishable from the bigger brands’ items, and occasionally I find something that permanently supplants a long-beloved item from a major company. That said, today’s review covers a salsa-ish item from HEB, peculiarly (though aptly) named That Green Sauce.

Ingredients:

Jalapenos, Water, Poblano Peppers, Green Tomatoes, Light Sour Cream (Grade A cultured cream, Skim milk, Vitamin A palmitate), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Chicken Base (Oven roasted chicken meat with natural chicken juices, Corn starch, Rendered chicken fat, Yeast extract, Natural flavoring, Onion powder, Rice flour, Maltodextrin, Turmeric powder), Salt, Natural Flavor (Water, Hydrolyzed yeast, Natural flavor, Lactic acid), Lime Concentrate, Xanthan gum

If I could insert a whistle sound into this review, I would do so, because that’s quite the long list of ingredients. It’s not quite the longest list I’ve diligently typed, but it’s still a great indicator that not everything is simple in the world of That Green Sauce. The jar assures me, though, that this product is natural (and gluten free, for those who may be wondering).

Appearance:

It’s green, I guess. Granted, it’s not terribly green. When I think of green, I think of a shade more like jalapenos. Despite the fact that jalapenos are this product’s first ingredient, though, the color winds up being a lot more like a cross between a sickly tomatillo sauce and pea soup. Speaking of soup, it’s also a surprisingly thin sauce. I can’t help wondering exactly how soupy it would be if it didn’t have the thickening power of the Xanthan Gum. At any rate, I’ll go on record as saying it’s not the most appetizing-looking product on the market.

Smell and Taste:

Thankfully, That Green Sauce fares markedly better in the olfactory department than it does in the visual. Honestly, this stuff smells great. I used the word “salsa-ish” (the proper term, I believe, is “salsita”) in the introduction to this review, and I did so precisely because the contents of this jar smell like an enticing combination of jalapenos and tomatoes. The poblano is in there as well, as is a slight chicken broth scent (like you get when you’ve cooked with broth), but I don’t really smell the dairy products. It also tastes somewhat like a salsa, though it completely lacks the chunky texture of its cousin. (On an interesting side note, salsa typically has a notably low calories from fat count. However, 80% of this product’s calories come from fat!)

Ratings:

FIRE
FLAVOR

I’m honestly quite surprised by the heat this jar packs. Despite the fact that its main pepper ingredient is the lowly (but trusty!) jalapeno, I’m going to give it a Mean rating. It’s nowhere near the upper end of our scale, but I don’t think scoring it any lower is appropriate, as I don’t want anyone to be caught off guard by such an unassuming product. Let this be a lesson to us all, then, that hotter peppers don’t always make hotter sauces. In terms of flavor, it’s a Nice. Though it doesn’t absolutely knock my socks off, it is also far, far better than it looks like it should be. I could see myself eating this on a lot more than plain tortilla chips.

Suggested Uses:

This being a South Texas product, the label suggests pouring it on tacos, eggs, or fajitas. Those are the obvious options, but I agree completely. That Green Sauce is practically begging to be dumped all over a chorizo and egg taco. Otherwise, might I suggest the venerable tamale? I can assure you that this product has no problems passing my Tamale Test. The flavor profile definitely lends itself to Mexican-style fare, but go ahead and experiment. I, for one, will likely continue to buy more traditional sauces, but I don’t mind saving a space in my refrigerator for this little green jar.



20 Responses to That Green Sauce, by HEB

  1. tc more says:

    I do not knowingly eat any products w the Rap seed plant in them (canola oil).
    You should google ‘why is canola oil harmful to humans’, its a real eye opener.

  2. Vivian says:

    I LOVE this stuff. We use 1/2 a jar in a slow cooker with cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 cup of white wine, and a package of chicken legs or thighs. We serve it over white rice. It’s not too spicy for my kids this way.

  3. John says:

    I love this stuff ! I first found it when HEB introduced it at one of their “sample stations” one day and have been hooked ever since. We typically go through at least 2 jars of it a week.

  4. Lovely says:

    This sauce is absolutely uniquely wonderfully awesome. Score!

  5. I have to say, I’m impressed by the positive replies to this product review. Even though HEB stores across the region were demoing it at one point, it still appears to me like a little unassuming sauce. Who would have thought it had so many adoring fans? I think I need to buy another jar.

    Also, I want to apologize to tc up there, because your comment somehow slipped by me all this time. That said, I took your advice in a slightly different direction and Googled “Is canola oil healthy?”. The results of that search draw your claims into serious doubt. Of the top 6 search results, 5 of them, from sources such as Snopes.com, EatingWell.com, and the venerable Mayo Clinic, debunked the idea that canola oil is somehow harmful to us. The only reason why I say 5 out of 6 is because my browser alerted me that the other article might be infested with malware, so I stayed away from it. In any case, all of those articles made it clear that the compound that makes rapeseed toxic to humans is not found in large quantities in canola, which comes from, surprise surprise, the canola plant.

    I then tried to humor you and used your exact search terms, but nothing with that exact string popped up. I did, however, get many of the same articles I had already read, the ones that debunked the myth.

    I don’t know if you’re ever even going to see this, tc, but I want to encourage everyone to refrain from such kneejerk reactions whenever you hear that such-and-such is bad for you. Please remember that not everything you read, especially on the Internet, is true. Go do your own research if you have concerns, but look for multiple sources that corroborate one another. Your English teachers (and I am one of them) approve this message.

  6. Christy Farris says:

    I just bought this yesterday on a whim and I love it! I’ve been eating it with Fritos because that’s all we have. If I wasn’t watching my calories, I would have already finished the entire bottle already!

  7. Dawn says:

    NASA, we have a problem. A friend of mine was visiting Texas and loved That Green Stuff. He would love to get some, but lives in Pennsylvania. I’m in Maryland and trying to find out if there is a way I can get it for him for a Christmas gift…. Any ideas???

  8. Christy says:

    Dawn, if they don’t answer you, let me know and I can send it.

  9. As good as this stuff is, I definitely wouldn’t recommend swapping any personal information here on the site. If you absolutely must, though, please email me through the Contact section, and we may be able to facilitate something. No promises, though.

  10. Jennifer says:

    You nailed it…this stuff is amazing! My Sweet Auntie brought four jars for Thanksgiving in Lubbock, TX and only one remains…thus ensuring a reciprocal visit to Houston. I can’t wait to load up!

  11. Julio says:

    any chance on getting a recipe?

  12. Reesecup says:

    I just brought my first jar…and it is great. I grilled bacon burgers and added some to the buns as I was assembling along with Hoffmans smoked cheddar…can I say, best burger I had in a long time. That Green sauce is the bomb. Thanks HEB

  13. SonKneeBoy says:

    Rape seed dangerous? T C Moore do your homework. http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/canola.asp

  14. Thanks for the support, SonKneeBoy! I did address tc more’s claims above, but I wouldn’t be surprised if s/he has not actually seen the response.

  15. Elma says:

    To Julio’s post may 28th; see recipe. 1 jar HEB That Green Sauce, 1 small can corn drained , 1/2 can black beans drained, 12 oz pkg “hot” or “mild” fresh pico the gallo, 1 avocado cubed. Mix all ingredients, chill and serve. Use pita chips or whatever to dip.

    Yummy and easy Enjoy

  16. Stacy says:

    I would love to know how to get a hold of a jar (or 2 or 3) of this yummy sauce. but Alas there are no HEB stores in Seattle, nor can I find it for sale online. Anyone know of an online seller?

  17. Dif says:

    On a separate note, I adore this sauce. We buy it in multiple strengths. Hotter for me and my daughter and milder for my baby husband, lol. The mild has significantly more dairy in it. I would love to find a crack recipe as I have been making salsa for years, but I guess it is too new a product. I’m so pleased ppl like it though bc it will stay on the shelf unlike my beloved hatch pepper sausage that was apparently a ‘promotional’ item..wah :( thanks for the review, everyone should know about this sweet lil jar of yumminess ;0)

  18. Eq8 says:

    I live in San Antonio, where HEB is headquartered. They are extremely responsive to emails via their HEB.com website > Contact Us, so use it to ask them to sell That Green Sauce online. I know they sell their coffees online, so it might not be much of a stretch to get them to sell some other products as well.

    If enough of you contact them, they could very well make some of our fantastic products available to you.

    But you have to ask them to do it. They undoubtedly know the green sauce is popular (it flies off the shelves, here), but the more people outside of Texas who let them know how much they want it, the more likely they’ll be to fire up an online store.

  19. It is definitely worth a shot! The stuff is hugely popular, so they really stand to benefit!

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