Welcome back to Fiery Friday, where we’re celebrating National Salsa Month all May long. During my last two reviews (which you can find here and here), I put the spotlight on two different salsas, both of which proved to be delicious, albeit low on the heat. Today’s product, though, has the no-nonsense “HOT” right there on the label. Of course, we’ve all tried so-called “spicy” foods that wind up fizzling out, so let’s see how Clint’s Texas Salsa (HOT), from San Antonio, stands up to scrutiny.
Tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato juice, calcium chloride, citric acid), Onions, Serrano Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Tomato Paste, Cilantro, Garlic, Salt, Distilled Vinegar, Lemon Juice
I absolutely love serrano peppers. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before, but it is worth repeating that serrano peppers are basically a spicier, sexier version of jalapenos. The serrano flavor is perfect for salsa, so I’m very pleased to see this mighty pepper’s inclusion in this jar. Everything else is par for the course.
You won’t find anything here that really distinguishes Clint’s Texas Salsa from any other typical competitors. It looks like a standard salsa. I’m not going to mince words here, so let’s just get to the good part.
Smell and Taste:
This salsa definitely has the smell of tomato paste. Rather than smelling like something made fresh in a restaurant, it more closely resembles a can of SpaghettiOs. I have fond memories of eating SpaghettiOs as a kid, so that’s not intended to be an insult. Still, that was definitely my initial olfactory impression. Similarly, Clint’s Texas Salsa (HOT) doesn’t taste quite as fresh as some other products I’ve had. In all fairness, though, it is a jarred salsa that I found sitting on a store shelf, so I can’t really fault it too much for not tasting like it was made to my order. That said, it doesn’t capture the fresh flavor of the tomatoes and peppers as much as I had hoped.
Clint’s Picante isn’t lying about this product’s heat, though. I’ll put it at a Mean, because it really isn’t something I would honestly recommend to someone who isn’t expecting something spicy. It won’t kill those of us who are accustomed to hotter products, but it is also enough to clear my sinuses a bit. I’m impressed. Despite the lack of fresh tomato and pepper flavor, I’m also going to give this one a Nice (for those of you keeping score at home, that means this one earns the coveted Bipolar Rating). It’s still a great salsa, and the serrano peppers really give it some staying power in both departments. I can certainly see myself going back to it when I want something with a great balance of heat and flavor.
By now, you folks probably know what to do with a typical salsa. I like to do my reviews with the jar and a bag of tortilla chips at my side, but that’s only scratching the surface of what you can do with such a versatile product. All you really need to know with this one is that Clint’s has a great hot salsa that can certainly serve as a spicy substitute for its more mild cousins.