A while back, I brought you a review of a baconated queso. That one seemed like a natural fit. After all, cheese and bacon go together all the time in some delicious dishes, so it should be no surprise to see them paired together in one jar. But if you take the queso out of the queso salsa, you’re just left with salsa. Sure, tomatoes and bacon can still be good friends, but I’m definitely a bit more skeptical about this Arriba! product than I was about its sibling. Still, bacon is good, and salsa is good, so this really shouldn’t go wrong.
Roasted Tomato, Water, Tomato, Jalapeno Pepper, Textured Vegetable Protein (soy flour, caramel color, red 3), Soybean Oil, Cilantro, Precooked Real Bacon Bits (cured with: water, salt, sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrate, may contain sugar, brown sugar, and/or smoke flavoring), Salt, Tomato Paste, Natural Flavor (water, hyrolyzed yeast, natural flavor, lactic acid), Paprika Extract, Garlic (dried), Onion (dried), Artificial Flavoring (hydrolyzed corn-soy-wheat protein, autolyzed yeast extract, partially hyrogenated soybean/cottonseed oils, thiamine hydrochloride, dextrose, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, artifical flavor), Caramel Color, Corn Syrup, Maple Syrup, Xanthan Gum, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid
Universities across the nation are changing their Chemistry final exams. Now, instead of taking a multiple choice test at the end of the course, you have to identify and pronounce every single thing in a jar of Arriba! Bacon Salsa correctly. Seriously, is all that really necessary?
This one looks pretty much like any other salsa, although the blackened bacon bits are more prominent in here than they were in the queso version.
Smell and Taste:
There’s a weird combination of smells here. The first scent is the tomato smell, but it isn’t really all that strong. That scent is actually pretty quickly overpowered by the smokey bacon and the sweet maple syrup, so you get this strange hybrid of sweet/smokey/savory. The tomatoes aren’t really all that strong in the flavor, either. To be honest, this salsa really just tastes like chunky liquid smoke, albeit with a slight tomato twist.
The heat rating on this one is easy. Simply put, there isn’t any. Mild it is. The flavor is a bit harder. On the one hand, it is just good enough that I don’t dread eating another bite. On the other hand, it doesn’t exactly do any of its ingredients justice. There’s no strong tomato flavor, the bacon taste is subdued when compared to the generic liquid smoke, and there’s no real pepper bite to speak of at all. I’m giving it a Neutral.
You could put this on breakfast tacos, but you could also do better.
Stick with the queso version instead. The cheese and bacon combination is much better than the bland salsa in this jar.