I’m starting to get a feel for the salsa market, especially the eccentric way some of the brands do their marketing. I’m sure salsa is big business in Texas, at least from the effort I’ve seen around the creative marketing on the various brands, I’d have to say that getting it right is probably as good as making a great product to begin with.
So it’s always a pleasure to find a diamond in the rough. Jardines was another coupon purchase on a whim, actually. I almost missed it because they don’t have 10 varieties of their salsa, so the selection is pretty small. The idea of small-batch ANYTHING speaks to my love of the small town, the underdog, the little guy. So I was willing to give it a try. At least I didn’t have any aggressive or over-the-top marketing to deal with on this one.
I tried Jardines first on my egg-spinach-guac breakfast concoction and was immediately hooked. The flavor is smoky, but unlike Salt Lick’s overpowering flavor, Jardines is just right. It’s just smoky enough. Actually, it’s just everything enough. I think it’s the best-balanced salsa I’ve had so far.
But wait, there’s more. Look at the label!
No added sugar, no wonky ingredients, and only 5 calories in 30 grams. That’s a great combination. I’m realizing that I really like the Morita peppers, I need to look into them more. If I go back and look through the reviews, there are a few that use Moritas.
I love that all these salsa companies are local. Buda (pronounced b-you-da, not bhuda) is a little town just South of Austin. It used to be nothing. Austin has changed that, too.
Back to salsa, I’ve been trying to make sure I try the different salsas with different foods so I can get a full idea of the flavor profile. So I used that excuse to eat more of HEB’s unsalted Tortilla Chips. Only 12 at a time, though, that’s one serving. Jardines is just as good with plain old tortilla chips as it is with everything else. Sure, the flavor could be a little more complex, but I don’t notice that while I’m eating it.
If I had ever bothered to come up with a rating, this one would be at the top. I’ll probably need to do a shootout against Mateo’s soon. I think Jardines might win, and since it’s half the price of Mateo’s, that would definitely factor in.