Like a lot of you, I don’t bother to cook much on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead, my wife and I typically enjoy a series of appetizers. Although most of those appetizers are of the frozen variety, the simplest one is simply a jar of salsa and a bag of chips. For today’s salsa review, I’ve got something that eschews the spicy peppers of my recent subjects in favor of fruity flavor. I love fruit-based sauces and salsas, and my previous experiences with HEB’s Specialty Salsa line have been positive, so I’m to find great things in this jar.
Tomatoes, Water, Crushed Tomato Concentrate, Pineapple (packed in pineapple juice), Jalapeno Peppers, Sugar, Peaches, Distilled Vinegar, Dehydrated Onions, Salt, Dehydrated Garlic, Natural Flavor
There aren’t really any surprises on this list, and I’m going to take that as a good thing. You’ve got the fruit that the name promises, and the typical salsa ingredients round out the list. That’s what I like to see.
HEB’s Pineapple Peach salsa is pretty thick and chunky, particularly when it comes to the fruit. There are large portions of fruity goodness floating in the mix, and the whole thing scoops rather well with a good chip on hand. Otherwise, it pretty much looks like a good salsa.
Smell and Taste:
Just as I expected, there is zero heat to the smell. It’s actually more of a sweet scent than anything else. But that’s okay, because it smells like this product intends to deliver in the flavor department. The first part of the flavor is a sweet tomato taste, followed by the taste of the peaches. To be honest, I don’t really get much of the pineapple flavor from this product, which leaves me a twinge disappointed.
No heat here, so we can just chalk this one up as a Mild. The flavor, on the other hand, is pretty good. The lack of a real pineapple taste still makes me a little sad, but the overall flavor composition is good enough to warrant a Nice. This salsa makes for a nice change of pace after a series of spicy products.
This is one of those products that the whole family can enjoy, since it isn’t going for high marks – any marks, really – in the heat department. Just throw it in a bowl, grab a bag of tortilla chips, and you’re all set. But if you want to get fancier with it, it would also go great on some grilled chicken, and would even work well on top of a fresh salad. The label recommends using it on fish tacos and smoked salmon as well. Heck, I might even get a little zany and experiment with some of this on a burger soon. I’ll let you know how that works out.
I’m not certain that I’ve ever had a salsa that truly and accurately represented the flavor of pineapple. Scrovak reviewed a pineapple-based salsa fairly recently, and he complained that it tasted like someone liquefied a Hawaiian pizza. If any of you have any good recommendations for a salsa that captures the elusive pineapple essence, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll try to hunt it down and review it in a future column.