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Apr 14, 2006 05:19 PM

Never buy salsa from the grocery store again...

  • l

I just wanted to pass a tip that has been working for me. I live near La Mexicana restaurant on Bathurst (average in terms of quality). So now, instead of buying salsa at the grocery store, I run in there and buy salsa fresh for about the same price or less than at the store (sometimes I also buy tortilla chips that are fresh there too - beats the hell out of Tostitos, etc).

1) the salsa (and chips) is fresh and tastes great
2) gone are the days of having 3 open salsa jars in my fridge for a year!
3) healthier - no preservatives

WARNING: This can become addictive, so I tend to do this only on nights when I make burritos (I copy Burrito Boyz and my girlfriend says mine are better!)

The only question I have for you all is WHERE CAN I GET THE BEST FRESH TAKEOUT SALSA IN THE CITY??? I do like Lonestar Cafe's (but only the one in Richmond Hill - all other locations of this place do not pass the test - in every way...)

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  1. Forgot to mention... if you still insist on buying from the supermarket, the only brand worth buying is Herdez.

    1. You should try the Herdez brand of salsas available at the Superstore at Eglington and Don Mills.

      They are inexpensive at $2.99/jar and they also have superb taco sauce, labelled "salsa taqueria".

      Moreover, the same store carries the excellent Bufalo brand of hot sauces, they are $1.99/bottle.

      I guarantee that these authentic Mexican products will change you mind about store bought!

      13 Replies
      1. re: lb

        I have to agree about the Bufalo brand Hot Sauces. Always a hot sauce fan, I picked a bottle of their Chipotle Hot Sauce a few weeks ago at the Dominion at Vic park and the Danforth, and it has now become a standard ingredient in any mexican food I make from Burritos to Guacamole. It just adds a rich undercurrent of smoky spiciness: it also has that delayed heat effect that only seems to come from using smoked/dried chiles, as opposed to chopped fresh habeneros for example. Allows you to taste it before the heat kicks in.

        1. re: lb

          unbearably salty but i do like that there are like 4 preservatives

          1. re: lb

            I'm a hot sauce lover. I usually have 6 or so different bottles open at any one time.
            To the point, my parents gave me a bottle of Bufalo hot sauce. I opened it, tried it and threw it in the garbage. Nuff said.


            1. re: Davwud

              Hey Davwud,
              You said, " my parents gave me a bottle of Bufalo hot sauce. I opened it, tried it and threw it in the garbage. Nuff said."

              Did you throw it in the garbage because it tasted bad or because it wasn't hot enough for your fried buds?

              Because I like hot sauce, but I don't like to have my head blown off. Just a matter of taste.

            2. re: lb

              I love Herdez. I, mainly, used their Mexican Salsa. I live in London, ON and, now, cannot find it here. Yesterday, an employee at Loblaws said that it's a matter of (the cost of) "real estate". Their shelves were packed with Loblaws brand but no Herdez. Today, I went to a smaller grocery store - not there. I looked for a small Spanish grocery store, in a house, I used to go to. The store seems to be no more.
              I go to Toronto - downtown area. I could buy a couple each time I'm there - heavy to carry with other things, walking all day.
              Do you know of anyone west of Toronto who can find Herdez products?
              Thank you. :)

              1. re: CanadianRose

                I see their products all over Mississauga: Highland Farms, Loblaws, NoFrills. No clue about MIlton and points west. Buy a pile next time.

                1. re: CanadianRose

                  Try United Supermarket on Adelaide. Even though they're primarily an asian grocery store- they have a HUGE range of other ethnic groceries- including indian, mexican, and spanish.

                  Also- I seem to remember an El Salvadorean market somewhere on the east side (the shady parts); I used to buy dried chili peppers there...I just googled it, it's called "Latino Market"- it's on Dundas Street.

                  The thing about london is that it actually DOES have ethnic grocery stores- it's just hard to locate them.

                  Good luck.

                  1. re: jinxie

                    I was in Burlington yesterday and went to Fortino's. Same story as in London. They always carried Herdez products but there were none in the store.
                    It seems the 'big guys' shouldered them out.
                    Thanks for you email.

                    1. re: jinxie

                      I just called United Supermarket in London. She asked that I call back tomorrow. Maybe .... :)

                      1. re: jinxie

                        At first I thought you were talking about Toronto.
                        Tomorrow, I will call United Supermarket and ask.
                        I will also call the Latino Market.
                        I'm not sure the El Salvadorean market is in operation. Their site has no address.

                      2. re: CanadianRose

                        I have been looking for that salsa in Mississauga. The Food Basics at Derry and McLaughlin have it but whatever left is on sale now and they are not bringing anymore in. And only Mild or Hot is left, no Medium (which is my favourite).

                        The only Herdez products I've seen at Highland Farms, Loblaws and NoFrills are their other products like the jalapenos but no salsa. :(

                        1. re: sasgirl

                          I just called United Market (Asian) as someone recommended. This is in London. She said they always had it but they don't now, and don't expect to have it. I think she said they have some other Herdez products.

                          1. re: sasgirl

                            Try the NoFrills stores at Eglinton+Mavis and Britannia+Creditview. Pretty sure Highland Farms has it.

                      3. i was with ya until the lonestar part. i'm almost 100 percent certain they don't make their own. will ask a friend who works sales for restaurant wholesaler (which sells for/to many different places).

                        1. For homemade salsa, I'm going to have to refer you to the chef who is all about flavour.


                          1. The salsa from Jumbo empanadas in Kensington is fantastic and you can buy a tub for takeout.

                            But since we're on the subject of salsa, I used to buy green salsa in a big tall plastic bottle at La Perola. It was fantastic but they don't carry it anymore. I got a vague "It's not available anymore" answer. I have tried every green salsa where ever I travel and none are as good as that one was. Any recommendations? Must be green salsa.

                            The closest I have come is making my own from this recipe:


                            They call it guacamole but it only has one avocado and lots of tomatillos so it's kind of a hybrid. Works really well with green tomatoes, too!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: crawfish

                              Thank you. It sounds good.
                              I went to Burlington today - to Ikea and Fortino's. No Herdez at Fortino's although they said they used to carry it. I'll, gently, keep looking. Next time I'm in Toronto I'll check out Kensington, etc.
                              Thanks for your note!