HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Best bottled salsa?

  • 81
  • Share

Anyone have recs for a really good bottled salsa?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Salsa Casera by Herdez is the only one I like. It comes in a can.

    http://www.mexgrocer.com/1455.html

    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.

          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

            buy en masse:
            http://www.foodservicedirect.com/inde...

            you might enjoy some herdez recipes, too:
            http://www.herdeztraditions.com/recipes/

        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.

                1. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/296800
                  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.

                    http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com

                    1. i like the salsas by Rick Bayless/Frontera Kitchen. i found them recently at Whole Foods

                      1. Trader Joe's Habenero Lime salsa in a jar is really good. And their fresh salsa in the refridgerated case rocks.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mojoeater

                          yumm-the "salsa especial" in the cold case is my favorite. Very finely milled mixture of toms, chiles, cilantro and lime juice. I also like TJ's jarred chipotle salsa and the bean dip is vinegary goodness itself.

                          1. re: mojoeater

                            I'm currently obsessed with the that salsa! I've taken to eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon.

                          2. I like Green Mountain Gringo. I also use it to cook with.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: SLO

                              Here, here.... GMG Medium is plenty hot for me. The all natural ingredients are : Ripe Tomatoes, Fresh Onions, Fresh Tomatillos, Fresh JalapeƱo Peppers, Fresh Pasilla Peppers, Apple Cider Vinegar, Fresh Cilantro, Fresh Parsley, Fresh Garlic, Sea Salt, Spices. And, their tortilla strips are tasty, crispy and a perfect compliment to the salsa.

                              1. re: Gio

                                I'll third GMG. All natural & great taste.

                                1. re: amanda3571

                                  I'll fourth GMG. God that stuff is so good, it makes other salsas taste gross by comparison. Though Trader Joe's refrigerated salsas are pretty fresh, too.

                                  1. re: janethepain

                                    Is Green Mountain Gringo salsa available in California? Mail order?

                                    1. re: KenWritez

                                      here is the website, seems as if they will ship anywhere. We used to buy it mail order by the case in the early 90's

                                      http://www.greenmountaingringo.com/

                                      1. re: KenWritez

                                        I'm pretty sure it would be sold at Whole Foods, or even Trader Joe's.

                                        1. re: KenWritez

                                          Do you have Sprouts near you? They sell it, and at a good price.

                                  2. re: SLO

                                    this is my ultimate favorite especially the Roasted Garlic one -- it rocks!! To me the best salsa out there.,.,

                                    1. re: SLO

                                      YES!!!!!!!!!

                                    2. I'll always prefer fresh salsa over manufactured, but if I need something right now, I'll stand up for La Victoria, then. It's my favorite bottled salsa, especially their salsa verde. (I prefer the 'medium' level of heat, as the 'hot' wreaks terrible vengeance. Owowowowowowow....)

                                      I agree Pace tastes wretched--too "chemically" and unnaturally thick. Herdez is good but too hot for me.

                                      For commercial hot sauce, my choice is Cholula, never Tabasco--the latter has no pleasant taste to me, just vinegar + heat.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: KenWritez

                                        I know many will cringe when I say this- I eat jars of this salsa it is delicious... ready... here goes.... Paul Newman's Pineapple Salsa... once you try it you will never try another again I promise.

                                        1. re: MeffaBabe

                                          Another to cringe at is that I like to use Tostito dip as a dip and for cooking. Curiously it has been unavailable in Puerto Vallarta for a year but is readily available in Toronto.

                                          1. re: MeffaBabe

                                            I like Newman's Pineapple as well.

                                            1. re: shellyesq

                                              Stop and Shop makes pineapple chipotle salsa that blows Newman's out of the water. Unfortunately, it's only made in mild.

                                        2. Mmm, thanks for all these great suggestions. I am planning a salsa tasting event and will plan to serve several of these in a blind tasting and report back on the results. Of course, taste in salsa is highly personal, but this may provide a sense of what salsas appeal to the "average palate" (or the palate of the average 30-something NJ economist).

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: SunnyD

                                            Also, might be hard to come by on the East Coast, but 505 has a good chile flavor.

                                          2. I like Newman's Own for a basic salsa.

                                            1. I use this stuff on everything. Made by hand in small batches, by hand, in a "mom and pop" business. Wonderful taste: http://www.mikeanddianes.com/engine/c...

                                              1. Shoot I can't remember if it's TJ's or TR's... but it's in a jar and they make the best fresh tasting salsa I've had. No big chunks. It's a white and silver label, if memory serves. And I don't like the odd fruity ones, just the regular.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: krez

                                                  Ken Smith's Sting 'n' Linger line of salsas....www.stingnlinger.com.

                                                  1. re: krez

                                                    Ah I finally took another look. It's Jardine's 7J - the new packaging features the "7J" and that's why I was confused.... Anyway, I like the fresh salsa one. It's the freshest tasting salsa in a jar I've found. And I like that it's not chunky at all, but not runny either.

                                                  2. We don't buy bottled red salsa (our 12-year-old makes it for us), but I do like the Herdez Salsa Verde when I don't have time to make my own tomatillo salsa.

                                                    1. Are we discussing bottled as in heat treated and preassure sealed salsa or is the refridgerated kind in the plastic tubs OK? I like the Casa Sanchez brand if we go to the chill box.

                                                      1. Goya Pico de Gallo is a favorite here. The salsa verde is nice, too.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: phofiend

                                                          Another Goya fan here. Their pico de gallo is my favorite bottled sauce. I love the flavors.

                                                        2. I have always liked the Paul Newman brand. The hot has alot of nice scipy flavors.

                                                          1. Neal Bros salsas (organic) come in several varieties and (to my palate) range from decent to excellent. Widely available in the Toronto area.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: embee

                                                              Yes I like Neal Bros also. They do a nice one with corn but can't recall the exact name.
                                                              I also like Desert Pepper Trading Co.'s peach mango salsa - very nice combo that goes well with everything.

                                                            2. My current fave is Wegman's garlic and lime salsa. It's addictive.

                                                              1. I love Santa Barbara Salsa's Salsa Taquera. It is a pretty spicy ground up salsa - not fresh but what is called "shelf stable" I can not always find it in stores so I order it by the case from their web site. The price is comparable to store prices and shipping is free.
                                                                http://www.sbsalsa.com/indexprod.html

                                                                1. I agree on homemade being best. However, sometimes I just have to buy the jarred stuff. #1: La Victoria Salsa Jalapena Verde. Hot and good. #2: Trader Joe's Salsa Authentica - a red salsa, moderately spicy. The La Victoria is great on quesadillas. I'm in SoCal, and it's in most grocery stores.

                                                                  1. I like Chi-Chi's fiesta salsa far better than any other generic grocery store brand. Very chunky and the flavor is good and relatively fresh. They sell big ones at Costco.

                                                                    1. Pepper's Blue Crab Salsa, Zesty Blue Crab Salsa or Chipotle Smoked Corn Blue Crab Salsa. I don't even like salsa that much in general but these are all addicting.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: romansperson

                                                                        Wow, do they actually have blue crab in them?

                                                                        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                                                                          Yes they do! It adds a nice aroma and texture - it's harder to taste.

                                                                      2. Don't use bottled salsa unless you're going to cook with it. Then, I don't think the brand makes that much difference. I use the really chunky. If I'm not cooking it, I use fresh. I guess the brands would depend on where you live.

                                                                        1. I'm from Texas, and quite partial to real Tex-Mex, but I don't have a favorite jarred salsa. I usually just pick up something I've never tried before and read the ingredients - I stay away from anything containing vinegar, onions &/or tomato paste -- it just tastes too processed for me. (Real Tex-Mex salsa, here, at least, doesn't have onions.)

                                                                          1. Sorry very boring and jarred.... Tostitos Picante Medium spice... pretty spicy!

                                                                            1. El Pinto from New Mexico. I can sit and wipe out a jar in no time.

                                                                              http://www.elpinto.com/

                                                                              1. A friend came back from Costa Rica with a bottle of mango salsa. I believe it also had guajillo chilies. Just a mild heat but the most unbelievable flavor. We finished the bottle in one night, but neglected to write down the name of the brand before. I have been searching high and low for it since 2003!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                  JM, does anything here look familiar? I Googled and found all sorts of recipes for Costa Rica style mango salsa, if you up for making your own.

                                                                                  http://www.costaricastore.com/index.php

                                                                                2. I'm a fan of the Safeway Garlic brand. Cheap, slightly spicy and good.

                                                                                  1. anyone can get a great jar of salsa from an online specialty retailer - there's a plethora out there. the trick is finding a decent jar in, say, Shop Rite. Currently I've found a winner, not as hot as I'd prefer, but the taste is better than most - look for Zapato brand (might be in the mexican/spanish foods aisle), in roja and verde flavors - right now, my store fave. Forget Ortega, Chi-Chi's, Old El Paso, they all have the same formula. This stuff is rich and lingering, a nice change from the ancient offerings.

                                                                                    1. I am content with Herdez in the bottle, and I like the fact that it is available at a reasonable price in just about any neighborhood convenience store near me. But the blue ribbon for jarred, widely-available salsa definitely goes to Green Mountain Gringo.

                                                                                      1. FYI... I recently found an exceptional hot sauce that I had never heard of. The brand name is Tonita's Salsa Especial, its made from a regional variety of Arbol chiles called Yahualica that hails from the area around the town of Yahualica in northern Jalisco. Its heavy on garlic and spices like Allspice, Black Pepper & Cloves and judicious with vinegar - those familar with the El Atacor taqueria chain from L.A. would recognize the flavor similarity with the bright red salsa served with Al Pastor tacos - such that it is reminiscent of Asian sauces like Sriracha. However....

                                                                                        The relative balance & passionate "elegance" of Tonitas makes Sri Racha come across as very rough & amateurish in comparison. Yup, I am ruined... I can't stand Sri Racha now - its going in the trash.

                                                                                        1. It's not bottled. Comes in a plastic cotainer, but found in the refrigerated section of my local Harris Teeter's grocery store in NC.....a brand called Jack's Special Garden Fresh Gourmet All Natural Salsa. Comes in varying degrees of heat. Hands down, the best salsa I've tasted other than making it myself from home grown veggies from my garden. Truly fresh tasting!!!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Phoebe

                                                                                            ITA about Garden Fresh salsa. Check your local Costco--some of them carry this brand at a fantastic price (for a Costco sized quantity, of course, but we go through it pretty quickly)

                                                                                            1. re: Phoebe

                                                                                              I buy my salsa in a plastic container also, but from ALDI. I served it at a get together and everyone raved and my fresh homemade salsa. They have 2 different kinds, but have only had the mild so far.

                                                                                            2. In Colorado and New Mexico we are lucky to have Sadie's and El Pinto salsas (both from popular restaurants in Albuquerque). In a pinch, 505 will do. I think about moving back to my native Quebec but I would miss the salsa and the mexican food...

                                                                                              1. I'm originally from Texas and lived in Mexico 10 years. Herdez is definitely the best of the commercial salsas, but not as good as homemade. In Texas you can buy it in the grocery stores. Herdez makes Salsa Casera and other types too. Homemade Salsa Chile Arbol is really good on tamales.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: RevImmigrant

                                                                                                  Herdez isn't bad but like you said isn't as good as homemade. I always add fresh cilantro to the Herdez as well... otherwise it is pretty blah to me.

                                                                                                  1. re: babaoriley7

                                                                                                    I am on the East coast and Green Mountain Gringo definately is tops for jarred salsa's in this region. I also like a couple of the container brands sold in the produce section of the local markets, it is more authentic, restaurant style, no cooked veggies, pico de gallo.

                                                                                                    http://www.gardenfreshsalsa.com/produ...

                                                                                                2. On a trip to New Mexico a while back, I picked up a bottle of Geronimo's Wildfire Salsa from someone selling it at the Tesuque flea market just north of Santa Fe. This is the real deal. I'm not sure what else to say; I like the Herdez Salsa Casera well enough, and my local Mexican grocer's pico is superb, but Geronimo's is a big favourite.

                                                                                                  I dont know if it's in stores anywhere. but their website is www.geronimoswildfiresalsa.com. I've ordered from them several times.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                    fydeaux, there is some problem with that web address.

                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                      Sorry about that; I copied it right off the jar, but I get that site is down.

                                                                                                      Try this one:

                                                                                                      http://puebloproducts.com/page4.html

                                                                                                    2. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                      We've been passing through New Mexico each summer for the last 9 years. We got hooked on Geronimo's Wildfire Salsa at Tesuque during a pass through in '07; went by this year and found the same gentlemen selling his wares...we picked up a case. The medium gets your attention, but the hot is not too extreme. Fresh. Good body and flavor. We've experienced regional salsa each trip (ex, the oft mentioned el Pinto), and so far this is my numero uno. Their web sites been down for a bit, regarding mail orders; in the meantime you can still get it if you're just Norht of Santa Fe for the weekend market!

                                                                                                    3. I'm currently obsessed with Trader Joe's Salsa Verde. I don't usually eat any bottled salsa because I just don't like the not so fresh chunks, and cooked taste, this stuff is so good. No artificial anything, not hot, just fresh taste. They also have a red version that I bought but haven't opened yet.

                                                                                                      1. Do any of these not have green peppers in them? I'm making a dish for a friend who has an adversion to green peppers, when I went shopping yesterday, all the bottles I looked at had green peppers listed as an ingredient. I had my two year old with me so eventually I had to walk away, without getting salsa!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: mom2

                                                                                                          my BIL hates green peppers, but LOVES harry & david's pepper relish!
                                                                                                          http://www.harryanddavid.com/gifts/st... (much cheaper at the h&d outlet, in multi-packs)

                                                                                                        2. We in TX believe there is NO good bottled salsa. If it's not made from scratch, Ijust give me Cholula.

                                                                                                          1. The problem with bottled salsa is that it's heated which cooks all the ingredients. It all tastes like chunky ketchup to me.