Okay, people. We’ve reached Critical Mass. The Point of No Return. The Salsapocalypse. The folks over at the Jardine Ranch have created an unholy concoction that combines their salsa recipe with the flavors of Sriracha. By this point, I’ve written extensively about the Sriracha craze, but I had no idea it had gone this far. Fortunately, you have me here to protect you from this outbreak. Stick with me, and I’ll arm you with every bit of information you need to survive.
Tomato, Tomato Juice, Red Jalapeno Pepper, Water, Onion, Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Green Jalapeno Pepper, Dehydrated Garlic, Salt, Potato Starch, Acetic Acid, Citric Acid, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bisulfite
There’s nothing in here that’s really out of the ordinary for a salsa, so the secret to transforming a standard salsa into a Sriracha Salsa must be in the ratio of the ingredients themselves.
This might be the brightest shade of red I’ve ever seen in a salsa. Jardine Foods has definitely nailed the Sriracha color, at least. Otherwise, this has a fairly standard salsa consistency: not too chunky, and not too liquidy.
Smell and Taste:
The thing about Sriracha is that it isn’t typically tomato-based, so the smell tends to be a strong mix of garlic and pepper. I would expect a Sriracha Salsa to be a combination of that smell and the standard tomato salsa scent, but honestly, this product skews much more towards the Sriracha smell than the salsa. Maybe it’s because the tomatoes aren’t roasted, but this smells more like a repackaged Huy Fong sauce than anything else. The tomatoes are more prominent in the flavor, though. Although this salsa isn’t overly chunky, the tomato and onion pieces do serve as a helpful reminder that I’m eating a salsa, both in terms of texture and taste.
For most non-chileheads I know, standard Sriracha tends to fall right at the edge of their capsaicin comfort zones. If that applies to you, then this salsa might live up to the “HOT” appellation on the label. For the rest of us, this is actually surprisingly weak. The heat is a slow build, and it takes quite a lot of salsa before it’s even noticeable. Nevertheless, it is there, after all, so I’ll give it a Medium. Fortunately, you’ll probably want to keep eating and feeling the burn, because the salsa is just that good. There are plenty of garlic-themed sauces out there, but this one tastes different. Whatever Jardine Foods has done, they’ve really nailed the flavor they were going for. If you don’t like Sriracha, this salsa probably won’t change your mind. However, if you’re like me and you put Sriracha on practically everything, this is easily a Notable salsa.
I really wish I had tried this salsa before I made sausage and eggs this morning! It would have been perfect! Frankly, even though this comes across as a specialty salsa, it has quite a lot of utility. I wouldn’t mind trying this as the base for a pizza, for instance, or on top of chicken and rice. At the end of the day, this is still a salsa, and it’ll work just as well as any other jar on tacos and fajitas, and will give those standard Mexican options a new twist.
This salsa could easily have been an awful attempt to cash in on the Sriracha insanity, but Jardine Foods has really done a great job here.