You know what’s missing from all of the salsa you’ve ever had in your life? A good helping of Tex-Mex spices and sensibilities. Yes, I’m being just a little bit facetious. Nevertheless, that’s pretty much the aim behind tonight’s product. Native Texan is actually a rather good brand, and they make my favorite queso of all time (which I’ll review once I can find a new jar), but the name of this product just asks for a little bit of good-natured ribbing. After all, most salsas you find on store shelves aren’t exactly authentically Mexican in the first place. Anyway, let’s take a look at this stuff and see what separates it from other salsas.
Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Puree (water and concentrated crushed tomatoes), Green Peppers (jalapeno and bell), Onions, Lime Juice, Carrots, Cilantro, Salt, Naturally Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar, Spices, Granulated and Dehydrated Garlic
Since we are left with the generic “spices” descriptor, it’s pretty much impossible to tell from the label what makes this any different compared to other salsa products. I do like, though, that there are some carrots in this jar. The flavor on those little orange guys probably won’t be noticeable at all, but that knowledge lets me think I’m eating an even healthier salsa than I do normally. If I have one complaint, it’s that this salsa uses dehydrated garlic for some reason. Why not the fresh stuff? It’s so much better that way.
If I were to judge solely by appearances, I would have to say that this Tex-Mex Salsa looks almost exactly like a standard restaurant salsa. It is moderately chunky, but not overly so, with clear bits of tomatoes and peppers. The one difference is that, yes, there are large chunks of carrots in the jar as well.
Smell and Taste:
Okay, so it does smell a little bit different than other salsas. There are hints of cumin, cayenne, and maybe a little bit of ginger. It’s rather pleasant, and the spices blend rather well with the smell from the fruits and vegetables. The best way to describe the flavor, though, is to say that it tastes a lot like taco seasoning, though it isn’t nearly as salty as that cheap bagged stuff you might get from your supermarket. It also reminds me a bit of chorizo.
The jar says Medium, and that’s precisely what you get here. This isn’t a completely heat-free salsa, but it is tame enough that most capsaicin wimps can probably handle it. I’m pleased with – but not blown away by – the flavor, so I’m going to give it a Nominal. I like it, but I think the spice blend plays too large of a role in the overall flavor when compared to the tomatoes and peppers.
This actually strikes me as a great breakfast salsa. It’ll go well on tacos (especially the aforementioned chorizo), not to mention omelettes and other egg-based dishes. Of course, you could also just have a bag of chips with you and go at it that way, too.
While this is nowhere near the best product I’ve had from Native Texan, it’s still good enough to be worth checking out. At some point in the future, I’ll bring you a review of a jar of their queso. I’ll even do it in this very column, since it’s close enough to salsa to count.