I. Love. Salsa. If you’re a regular reader of this very website, then that’s no secret. Whenever the boss man sends me stuff, I get excited, but nothing gets me as giddy as a schoolgirl like a new jar of salsa. There’s just something about the combination of tomatoes and peppers that really does it for me. Even my students know that they can get on my good side with a salsa-themed gift. What I’m trying to say here is that I’m reviewing another salsa today. In particular, I’m looking at Roasted Garlic Salsa #4, by M circle M Canning and Baking Company (a “vision” of our friends Uncertain Farms).
Tomatoes, Onions, Jalapeno, Serrano, Habanero, Ghost Pepper, Cilantro, Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Lime Juice, Brown Sugar, Salt, Pure Capsaicin
Holy crap. This salsa means business. Look at that list. The normal salsa ingredients are in there, sure, but this jar has all the makings of chemical-grade warfare. The peppers are listed in ascending order of spiciness, which I’m assuming (if this jar follows normal listing conventions) means that there are more jalapeno peppers in here than any other kind of pepper. Nevertheless, the very presence of all of those peppers (the same combination that goes into the infamous Four Horsemen Burger, might I add) has me quite excited. Of course, we can’t ignore the pure capsaicin down there at the very end. Yikes! Pure capsaicin in a salsa? That’s rather unusual, but potentially very, very sexy if it adds to the heat but doesn’t muck up the flavor.
What’s really cool about this stuff is that it looks way more like a relish than a salsa. You know how normal store-shelf salsas are mostly tomato-based liquid with some chunks floating around? Well, this salsa is mostly chunks with a little liquid keeping them moist. Seriously. Not only are there bits of onions, but I spot nearly-whole slices of jalapenos just waiting to be eaten. How cool is that? That’s awesome. Truth be told, you won’t have too many problems with this stuff running everywhere. Hell, you could probably just spread it on your food.
Smell and Taste:
Well, it smells fantastic. Despite the presence of pure capsaicin, there’s not an overwhelmingly spicy smell to this salsa. It does, however, smell hotter than pretty much anything you’ll pick up at your local grocery store. Even better, though, Roasted Garlic Salsa #4 tastes incredibly fresh. There’s no hint of preservatives in this salsa, and each little herb and pepper plays a key role in the flavor. The titular garlic flavor is present, but not to the point that it overpowers everything else. Like the rest of the ingredients, the farlic flavor is fresh, rather than tasting canned. Somehow, likely due to the presence of the brown sugar, this salsa is a little sweet, which I always love in my salsa.
This should come as no surprise, given the four different types of peppers in the list (plus the pure capsaicin, natch), but this salsa is pretty hot. So hot, in fact, that those of you who find the salsa at your local Mexican restaurant hot should probably stay away from this one. I’m giving it a Mean. If you can stand the heat, though, you’ll find an incredible salsa that is stupidly addictive. I can’t stop eating this, even though I probably should, since my stomach isn’t exactly accustomed to processing so much in the way of fresh fruits and vegetables. (What can I say? Outside of salsa, I’m a carnivore.) Without a doubt, Roasted Garlic Salsa #4 is an easy Notable.
Just do yourself a favor and eat it. It really doesn’t matter how. Just find an excuse to put this in your mouth and enjoy it.
Not too long ago, I encountered a salsa that I labeled my new favorite salsa. I haven’t decided yet if this one has changed my mind, but it’s certainly a close call. Believe me when I say you really cannot go wrong with this stuff. Enjoy, folks.