We’re now on the last Friday of May, which means one more post for National Salsa Month from Fiery Friday. This time, I’ve got a product sent to me by Mr. James Wreck himself. Created by Jan Allen, BugTussle Burn promises a “divine” flavor supported by a “cult following.” These are bold and interesting words, to be sure, but my professionalism dictates that I cannot let a label write my review for me! Onward, then, and let us see exactly how this salsa with the funny name fares against all the others.


Tomato Juice (water, tomato paste), Jalapeno Pepper, Onion, Apple Cider Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Garlic, Salt

Nearly every single ingredient on this list is standard fare for salsa. One, however, stands out: the brown sugar. Though not a terribly unorthodox component, it should be interesting to see precisely what effect the inclusion of brown sugar has on this particular salsa as a whole.


Well, the brown sugar doesn’t really do anything to alter the appearance. BugTussle Burn Sassy Texasalsa looks like your average thick red salsa. Nothing more, and nothing less. I would never consider that a bad thing, though, because at least that shows that the folks at BugTussle Burn know what they’re doing.

Smell and Taste:

There’s nothing new to report in the smell department. This salsa smells a bit like standard picante sauce, though arguably a bit sweeter. The brown sugar doesn’t come out much in the scent, though. The flavor, however, is where the brown sugar truly shines. The first thing I noticed when I ate some of this salsa was its sweetness; though that profile could be accomplished with the right tomatoes, no doubt the brown sugar helps considerably. The sugary flavor reminds me of a fruit-based salsa, but this jar doesn’t pack anything else out of the ordinary. I suppose the apple cider vinegar is pulling its weight for the sweet flavor as well, but I feel like I’ve been seeing that in sauces and salsas more and more these days.



Admittedly, BugTussle Burn Sassy Texasalsa caught me off guard. Since I noticed the sweet flavor first, I did not expect the rush of heat that followed immediately afterwards. Surprisingly, this stuff is hot. The label of the jar and the title of this post both say medium, but let’s be honest – this stuff is downright Mean. After eating enough of it to write this review, my tongue actually hurts. That’s unusual. It isn’t as hot as last week’s product, which I rated higher, but the burn on this one takes an eerily long time to go away. But oh, is it worth it! The unassuming ingredients list (aside from the brown sugar, I suppose) belies just how delicious this stuff actually is. I’m trying now to throw this around too much, but this salsa is worth every bit of the Notable rating. It is fantastic. My only wish is that BugTussle would make other varieties. If this is Jan Allen’s idea of a medium salsa, I would love to see what she thinks a hot salsa is!

Suggested Uses:

“Sweet heat” is the name of the game here. The standard options apply, and you really can’t go wrong.

Fun Fact:

Bug Tussle is a small settlement in the northeast region of Texas. Although it embodies the very idea of “small Texas town,” it actually has its own Facebook page.


1 Comment

  • Inga 2012 Jun 02 / 14:21

    GREAT seeing this review! I’m always checking your website and was THRILLED to see Bugtussle Burn and couldn’t agree more on the rating! Sometimes I TRY to explain to others that change from sweet to HOT in your mouth…Like a fine wine that starts out one way and ends another? In any case, this salsa is addictive. The sweet beginning threw me for sure, but when the “BAM-BURN” set in, I was one happy camper. You are right in that some might consider it above Medium, burn-wise, but being a Texas gal and a pepper-head, it’s perfection for me! Thank’s for spreading the word for this awesome new product. The Allen’s are great folks and are working hard to get the word out. (And by the way, DO keep an eye out on their website (www.bugtussleburn.com), cuz I hear rumors that Jan is considering a milder AND hotter version next year! Here’s to Brian and his awesome review, and to James for bringing Bugtussle Burn Salsa to him! (Did ya hear about them at ZestFest 2012? They got 2nd place in Best Medium Salsa at the Fiery Foods contest there and had the most AWESOME and FUN booth ever!) Have a great, BURNIN’ year!

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