OK, I know what you’re thinking. I wasn’t too kind to the “less hot” version of this Jalapeño salsa, but I had to give them the benefit of the doubt and try the real thing. It’s an engineering feat, in my opinion, to remove every single bit of spice from a Jalapeño, so you have to give them that.
I found where they put the extra heat removed from their “less hot” version. It’s in this stuff. It’s rare I eat something so hot that I don’t enjoy it. The first time that happened to me was in Mexico with some Habañero salsa. It was wonderful, but as soon as you stopped eating it, flames came out of your mouth. The second time was with hot wings in Houston with a friend of mine. I learned a good lesson that day. When a restaurant has more than three levels of hot on their menu, don’t try to be the big man and order the hottest one. I think I had burns on my fingers from that one.
So I’ll give Texapeño that, this salsa isn’t so hot I can’t finish it, but it’s hotter than hell and definitely hotter than the average person is going to enjoy. They do warn you, though. So by their disclaimer, I’m a wuss. So be it.
I have tried to use this salsa to kick up some of the lesser heated ones I have at home. It’s an art, not a science. I’ve got about a 50/50 hit rate on that. Sometimes it really adds a good kick to the salsa, other times, I end up with tears streaming down my face. Because, you know, I’m a wuss like that.
Perhaps the worst part about Texapeño though is the Xanthan powder and salt content. 10% daily sodium in two tablespoons is no joke. If you’re watching your sodium intake (and you should be) you’d have to pay attention here. I always keep my portions small these days, so it’s not a huge issue, but one I wanted to point out anyway.
This is really a shame. You see Xanthan in its many forms when you look for gluten-free products. Gluten is often used to thicken things up, which is what the purpose is here, I imagine. But, there’s already “modified food starch” which is also a possible thickening agent. Or wallpaper paste. It’s used for that, too, although not in this same form. Yes, I’m being a smartass because they’re calling me a wuss. So I can be as sarcastic and passive-aggressive as I want here, OK?
Out of all of my complaints about Texapeño, honestly, the biggest one is, it just isn’t’ that good. There are so many better salsas out there, and some of them are half the price of Texapeño. Even the generic Walmart brand has better flavor. Now, that’s hardly the ruler I use to measure salsas, but come on, if you were making a salsa, wouldn’t you at least try to beat that?