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Oct 1, 2007 02:05 PM

Best bottled salsa?

Anyone have recs for a really good bottled salsa?

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  1. Salsa Casera by Herdez is the only one I like. It comes in a can.

    7 Replies
    1. re: DanaB

      Herdez salsa casera comes in a bottle, too, but I've only seen the salsa verde and salsa ranchera in a can.

      1. re: dinner belle

        yup, Herdez casera's the best. La Victoria is uniformly awful. and don't bring that Texas stuff 'round here. (no offense to Texans, just to that awful Pace crap.)

        1. re: annagranfors

          also agree that Herdez is best bottled.

          When I'm at Costco, I pick up the plastic jug of Garden Fresh which is amazing. They still make it in 5 gallon buckets, not in huge vats, and it is very fresh tasting. I know it's not at all Costcos yet, though.

        2. re: dinner belle

          I bought a bottle of Herdez salsa casera based on all the praise in this thread, and loved it. I got the medium kind, but it still burned my tongue and made my lips tingle, which no other medium salsa has ever done to me!

          I usually buy the Archer Farms salsas, the high-end Target brand, which are actually a great value and come in several good flavors like peach-pineapple (medium) and chipotle (hot). I go through them like crazy with crackers or chips, but I think I've switched to the more authentic-tasting Herdez stuff from here on out. I will probably stock up on a few bottles tomorrow, since I have a 20% off coupon for Big Lots.

        3. re: DanaB

          Agreed. Herdez salsa casera (in the bottle) suits me best. It's flavor profile comes closest to the ubiquitous table salsas found in Texas Tex Mex restaurants: juicy, salty, chile-y, and tomato-y w/o being ketchup(ugh...virtually every darn mass market salsa might as well be catsup)...also very fresh comparatively. It stops just short of being pico de gallo. Unfortunately, the ranchera and salsa verde aren't nearly as good.

          1. re: DanaB

            I have to agree with you on Herdez, for a bottled/canned salsa it is very good when you cannot make your own. I like all of their varieties. I have noticed over the past few years, probably since Herdez became more popular, that the price has increased dramatically, however, it is still a steal, particularly when compared to the so called "gourmet" products being touted in the stores.

          2. It depends entirely on what you intend to use it for!!

            - I've come to dislike salsa and chips when eating out because one or the other will inevitably suck. Freshly made 'pico de gallo' is called for here, never bottled or canned. How hard can chopping up tomatoes, white onion and chile be?
            - For just adding a little heat to almost anything, I like Tapatio or a similar Mexican style hot sauce. Chile, not too much vinegar, maybe some other spice; NO tomatoes, thank you.
            - For emergency enhancement of tacos and other street food, I'm down to La Costena Ranchera sauce (bottled). It tastes like chipotle and tomatillo but with unnecessary thickeners also. Easy enough to make yourself.

            Canned salsa always tastes off to me. Most bottled salsa is overcooked and 'flat' tasting, not to mention the gratuitous additives that screw up the texture and flavor further. Even the fresh 'tub' salsas in Latino markets rarely excite me.

            Really good bottled salsa will really cost you. Try to say No.

            3 Replies
            1. re: DiveFan

              I prefer sauce with my chips, not pico, but I am all about the Tex-Mex. I don't have a favorite national brand. I think a bottled sauce is nice sparked with some chipotle in adobo, but I like my salsa pretty hot.

              1. re: DiveFan

                Great post... agreed Herdez & similar are merely okay in a pinch but they are quite mediocre.... Pace & others are beyond mediocre and in the realm of disgusting.

                People its not THAT hard & very satisfying to make your own!

                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                  It is if you can't get decent tomatoes, which is about half the year here in PA. Have tried using canned tomatoes, but no dice (no pun intended).

                  There are times when the tomatoes here are so crummy that jarred salsa is preferable. At which point I'll usually give in a buy some tomatillos to make a salsa verde.

                  Quick anecdote - in addition to PA, I've lived in both the DF and in Sofia. Herdez was king in the DF. They didn't know what the heck pico de gallo was in Sofia (the only "Mexican" resto was actually a BBQ joint with some tortillas). I used to make it for our Bulgarian work crew who craved it. The out-of-season tomatoes there came from Lebanon and Syria - and those beat anything I've ever had in the US, including ones I've grown myself. The challenge was finding jalapenos or serranos. But the local Billa market actually had a banana pepper that, if roasted a little, was fairly close.

              2. As a general rule bottled salsa is overcooked and kinda yucky. But Mad Butcher isn't too bad. The Herdez others have recommended is good, too, and comes in small cans that are just about right for taco night in a two- (sometimes three-) person house.

                  Here's an older thread on the same topic. I keep trying to find a good jarred salsa, but nothing real seems to beat fresh salsa!

                  1. jfood only serves IMUS brand mild if not fresh.