A rare treat for you scoundrels! I asked my dad, Jay, to review some of the salsa sent to us by 505 Southwestern because to be totally honest, I just don’t like canned or jarred salsas. If I want to eat salsa, I typically make a pico de gallo or a very chunky, tomatoey guacamole. But my dad eats a lot of salsa, and has opinions about it. I mixed my sample jar with sour cream to make a “pink sauce” dressing for taco salad and found it to be tasty, but I am reasonably certain that any Mexicans I know¹ would cry tears of disappointment if they saw me do that. Also the words “taco salad.” In the next week I will review what 505 Southwestern really wanted me to try in the first place, their roasted green chiles. Anyway, without further adieu, here is Jay.
Having grown up in parts of South-Central and East Los Angeles, I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing some wonderful Mexican-American food. I’ve eaten from the home tables of dear Hispanic friends, where the humble tortilla and various salsas were mainstays with every meal, including breakfast. In thirty years I learned to love a good salsa. Red, green, mild or hot … they are the perfect spicy accompaniment for nearly every savory dish.
So there you have it, my ‘salsa credentials,’ as-it-were.
I was visiting the home of my multi-talented and irreverent daughter (she was raised that way by her incredible parents). As I was about to leave she handed me a large jar of commercially produced red salsa saying, ‘Here dad, eat this and give me your gringo Angeleno opinion.’ (She emphasized the ‘white boy from L.A.’ designation with a passing chola accent. Impressive.)
I have one immutable law for my salsas: if the ingredients do not include cilantro (aka coriander), then it’s not salsa. This one does not have cilantro.
I guess I could just leave it there, let that be my impression and review, but I realize many folks are not as discriminatory as this old gringo.
So, I’ll try a little harder.
This salsa, like most, is formulated with bastardized Norte Americano tastes in mind. It’s thin (read: watery), mostly tomato-y (the first ingredient listed) and consists of all the ‘safe’ ingredients for very broad, generalized taste acceptance. Surprisingly, they have included jalapeños, so I’m compelled to give them that point.
I would never have found anything remotely like this in the homes of my Hispanic friends, nor in any self-respecting Mexican restaurant/eatery.
I respect the fact that they are attempting to market this to as many people as possible. That’s the nature of foods in the business world … so be it.
On the widely-used ‘star’ rating system, I can only give 505 Southwestern All Natural Salsa a 2.5 out of 5 stars. It just doesn’t do it for me.
That’s my opinion … now, ‘somebody get a rope!’
So there you have it from the Williams clan – two product reviews, one thumbs up (green chile sauce, when pureed, makes for tasty green enchiladas!) And two thumbs held sideways (the red enchilada sauce is a little intense for me, and I wish I could find another way of saying it that doesn’t make me sound like such a puss, but I can’t — it overpowered my chicken and corn enchiladas). And now this, the salsa. I didn’t think it was as watery as my dad did, but I did find it on the unremarkable end of the spectrum. But I want to clarify: I think this of all jarred salsas. They just taste like cooked tomatoes to me. A great choice to use in a 7-layer dip, but no fireworks as just chips-n-salsa.
And because I forgot in the last review, I do want to thank 505 Southwestern for allowing a website like Anger Burger to review their products. And they apologized to me in an email for my cutting my own hand on one of their jars, which was kind, because I am clearly a clumsy bastard and if I were them I’d regret sending me stuff.
¹ Hi Skrappy!April 7th, 2013 | Food Rant