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best prepared salsa?

eLizard Apr 16, 2013 06:19 AM

i've just discovered mrs. renfro's...i've tried a few varieties and so far like them all. haven't tried ghost pepper yet. i never thought i'd like a store bought brand. i usually go to my corner restaurant and buy a big container. any other favorites out there?

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  1. d
    dkenworthy RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 06:59 AM

    I have a big garden and can my own salsa(s). But, once I am out (about now, usually) I fall back on Mrs. Renfro's. I like the Hot (not very hot, actually) Mexican Salsa the best.

    1. i
      iamreptar RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 06:59 AM

      Papalote Salsa from the Papalote Mexican Grill. Its the same salsa they use at their restaurant, just jarred up. It has a cult following in San Francisco and was even featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. If you live in California, you can get them from Whole Foods. But if not, just have it shipped to you. Yes, there is shipping but they lower the price when you buy 3 jars. 3 jars would cost $22.64 if you buy it from Whole Foods (only in California) or $24.74 with shipping all the way to the east coast. I would get the 3 jar variety trio to test which you like the best.


      4 Replies
      1. re: iamreptar
        Veggo RE: iamreptar Apr 16, 2013 09:31 AM

        About $34 for 3 jars to Florida, and they dont take AmEx.

        1. re: Veggo
          iamreptar RE: Veggo Apr 16, 2013 10:53 AM

          You were supposed to scroll down to their 3 pack. It seems that you chose to buy 3 separate jars. Though, just checked, the cost with shipping is actually $28.34 if you choose priority mail flat rate. Basically, you're just paying $6 shipping vs. buying it directly from Whole Foods or their restaurant.

          1. re: iamreptar
            Veggo RE: iamreptar Apr 16, 2013 02:10 PM

            Thanks, I'll see if I can re-do my order.

            1. re: Veggo
              c oliver RE: Veggo Apr 16, 2013 08:56 PM

              Were they able to accommodate your request to change? That's a nice factor if they were.

      2. coll RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 07:05 AM

        I've tried a lot of jarred salsas, but luckily Tostitos is my favorite so far. Better than anything I ever made, anyway!

        2 Replies
        1. re: coll
          mexivilla RE: coll Apr 17, 2013 04:59 AM

          Thank heavens someone else believes the Tostito salsa is the best. Unfortunately they don't sell it in Puerto Vallarta and I have to bring a supply from Canada.

          1. re: mexivilla
            coll RE: mexivilla Apr 17, 2013 10:13 AM

            I like it and I'm not afraid to admit it. Best of all, I get it by the half gallon at BJs for $6.50. I do go through salsa. But for once, that's not the reason I buy it; I truly think it's simple and perfect.

        2. Gio RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 07:22 AM

          We like Green Mountain Gringo medium hot salsa. It was made originally in a home kitchen in Chester VT and that's where we first bought it while renting a home nearby. For quite a while it was the only place we could buy it so we always stocked up before heading home. Now it's available everywhere it seems.

          It's full of flavor and the ingredients are all the things we like: "Ripe Tomatoes, Fresh Onions, Fresh Tomatillos, Fresh Jalapeño Peppers, Fresh Pasilla Peppers, Apple Cider Vinegar, Fresh Cilantro, Fresh Parsley, Fresh Garlic, Sea Salt, Spices". Terrific with their Masa Harina corn flour and blue corn flour tortilla strips.


          5 Replies
          1. re: Gio
            splatgirl RE: Gio Apr 16, 2013 07:32 AM

            This is my hands down favorite as well. It's fantastic, and as hard as I try every canning season, I can't make anything that even comes close.

            I really think it depends on what you think of as salsa. There are two camps: salsa that is more like fresh or pico de gallo, with evident and firm-ish textured, identifiable pieces of whatever is in it and a more uncooked flavor, or a ketchup-y salsa that is a cooked puree with nondescript and/or few chunks of anything.

            Green Mountain Gringo is definitely in the former category, which is why I love it.
            My only complaint is that the medium isn't hot at all and the hot is too hot for many. I have resorted to mixing hot and medium to get it right.

            1. re: splatgirl
              coll RE: splatgirl Apr 16, 2013 07:34 AM

              I find Tostitos to be in the first camp, too. I can usually only get medium, it has a little bite but I add some hot sauce if the occasion calls for it.

              1. re: splatgirl
                pickledtink RE: splatgirl Apr 16, 2013 08:24 PM

                3rd on the GMG salsa. It's definitely the best shelf-jarred salsa I have tried.

                There are some good "fresh" salsas that I have tried in the refrigerated section of stores, but the name is escaping me right now.

              2. re: Gio
                c oliver RE: Gio Apr 16, 2013 01:44 PM

                That's been mentioned before and I tried it and liked it. Thanks for the reminder.

                1. re: Gio
                  C. Hamster RE: Gio Aug 3, 2013 03:14 PM

                  That was my friend's sister making that Green Mountain salsa.

                  It's good.

                  So is Tostitos.

                  So is Trader Joes, even though I generally don't like their stuff.

                  My current favorite is Frontera Grill's salsas.

                2. arashall RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 08:28 AM

                  I'm in Houston, so we are admittedly spoiled with too many options. Probably have 40 to choose from in my grocery store, and at least half of those are made in Texas. One of the bigger brands is Jardine's. If it happens to make it as far as Boston, they have some pretty good options. A hot peach version that's interesting. If you brave Wal-Mart, you might find it there.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: arashall
                    Jenny Ondioline RE: arashall Apr 16, 2013 10:46 PM

                    Jardines regularly shows up in the food section at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods here in Boston.

                    Spike's has entered the Boston market in the last few years, and is consistently fresh tasting and yummy. That said, both the black bean and con queso versions are disgusting, but I find that to be true of just about all jarred varieties of same.

                    Third for Herdez as well.

                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                      arashall RE: Jenny Ondioline Apr 17, 2013 07:05 AM

                      Seriously? At Home Goods? That amazes me, because I don't consider it to be a specialty item in any way. Just grocery store salsa.

                      1. re: arashall
                        coll RE: arashall Apr 17, 2013 10:15 AM

                        Probably a specialty item for most markets. I don't know how they source though, just imagining. I have seen Jardines I think, but not in the local supermarket for sure (NY).

                      2. re: Jenny Ondioline
                        opinionatedchef RE: Jenny Ondioline Nov 29, 2013 12:34 AM

                        where have you seen spike's and herdez plse.?

                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                          Jenny Ondioline RE: opinionatedchef Nov 29, 2013 01:58 AM

                          Any Star Market, or at least any of the ones I shop at regularly (Packards Corner, River Street Waltham and Brighton Mills, in that order).

                      3. re: arashall
                        suzigirl RE: arashall Apr 17, 2013 04:30 PM

                        I have DL Jardines in my fridge right now. The cilantro green olive in medium. You are right, its good stuff

                      4. JungMann RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 09:25 AM

                        Rick Bayless' Frontera salsa is my go too. The tomato salsa is bright with chunks of tomato which have a natural texture that you don't often find in jarred salsa. The chipotle flavor is my favorite for its combination of heat and sweetness.

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                          PotatoPuff RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 09:27 AM

                          Fresh salsas from Sabra are surprisingly good. They actually taste - no pun intended- fresh.

                          1. t
                            travelerjjm RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 09:32 AM

                            Herdez Salsa Casera is wonderful. We started getting it in Mexico whenever we went. It is now available in the US.

                            We used to get some great fire roasted salsa, but we can't find it any more. It might have been Arriba (jar is similar), but I thought it was made in New Mexico.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: travelerjjm
                              eLizard RE: travelerjjm Apr 16, 2013 09:41 AM

                              i like the herdez salsa, too! i use the verde quite frequently.

                              1. re: travelerjjm
                                mariars RE: travelerjjm Apr 16, 2013 10:00 AM

                                It's el pinto salsa from NM. It's the best! You can sometimes get it at sams club in a big container. We love both the red and roasted green Chile salsa.

                                1. re: mariars
                                  travelerjjm RE: mariars Apr 16, 2013 10:08 AM

                                  El Pinto is good, we used to eat there a lot when I was a kid. This salsa was different, though.

                                2. re: travelerjjm
                                  BeefeaterRocks RE: travelerjjm Apr 16, 2013 10:50 AM

                                  I used to buy Arriba! fire roasted too and haven't been able to find the jar labeled as such. I just checked their web site and it claims all the salsas are fire roasted, so I might give them another try.

                                3. b
                                  Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 02:03 PM

                                  I always buy Jack's Garden Fresh Gourmet from Costco. It is perishable (sold in the refrigerated case near the hummus and tzaziki sauce), comes in a big square plastic jar, and it's incredible. Tastes a lot better than many restaurant salsas I've had.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                                    jmckee RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Feb 26, 2014 11:07 AM

                                    All their salsas are available at my grocery, and each one is spectacular.

                                    1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                                      Lindsaycan RE: Big Bad Voodoo Lou Mar 21, 2014 06:46 AM

                                      Costco's Kirkland brand organic chunky medium heat is good. I like the idea of it being organic at a reasonable price.

                                    2. k
                                      kmcarr RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 03:01 PM

                                      Dessert Pepper Trading Company (http://desertpepper.com). Either the Roasted Tomato Chipotle Corn Salsa or the Corn Black Bean and Red Pepper Salsa. They also make an excellent Black Bean Dip.

                                      1. b
                                        Booklegger451 RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 03:25 PM

                                        I ate a lot of salsa in Arizona, and most jarred products weren't up to snuff... but Goldwaters was always welcome!


                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Booklegger451
                                          C. Hamster RE: Booklegger451 Aug 3, 2013 03:22 PM

                                          Isn't Goldwater's a department store? My mother still has a "charge card" from there.

                                          1. re: C. Hamster
                                            Booklegger451 RE: C. Hamster Aug 5, 2013 12:23 PM

                                            I'm pretty sure it's a different Goldwaters. I'm more curious if it has any connection to Arizona's favorite politician, Barry Goldwater.

                                            Edit: Well, here we go, from their website:

                                            "Welcome to Goldwater’s Foods. I started this company in 1989 with my mom, Joanne Goldwater and my aunt, Peggy Goldwater Clay. My grandfather was the late Senator Barry Goldwater who instilled in me the appreciation and the beauty of the Southwest and family tradition. We’ve created our line to reflect that"

                                            I guess they ARE related to Barry Goldwater.

                                            2nd Edit: Double wow... Goldwaters Salsa was started by Barry Goldwaters grandson. Goldwaters department store was started by Barry Goldwaters grandfather. So, all related in some way!

                                            1. re: Booklegger451
                                              C. Hamster RE: Booklegger451 Aug 5, 2013 03:54 PM

                                              In addition to her "charge card," mom still has an AuH2O button from '64

                                              Maybe I can score some salsa on the internets

                                        2. juliejulez RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 03:34 PM

                                          I like Santa Barbara salsas: http://www.sbsalsa.com/indexprod.html

                                          Their hot Salsa Taquera is my favorite, but we mostly use the mild pico de gallo since my SO can't handle the heat in the taquera.

                                          1. j
                                            jbsiegel RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 05:19 PM

                                            Target makes a really nice one that has corn kernels and black beans in it. Yum.

                                            Otherwise, Tostitos or Pace are good for supermarket brands.

                                            1. j
                                              justalex RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 07:23 PM

                                              I love Salsa Lisa's hot version. It's in the refrigerated section. It's very fresh tasting with a good kick. Made here in Minnesota but I noticed it's available in California and some states on the east coast. A tablespoon or two mixed with mashed avocado makes a very good guacamole.

                                              I'm hooked on Mrs. Renfro's salsa verde. I love to add it to chicken tortilla soup.

                                              1. p
                                                pickledtink RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                I just thought of another jarred salsa that I really like. It's the Number 9 Salsas from Paino Organics. Not sure how widely available it is, but it's really good stuff!

                                                1. fldhkybnva RE: eLizard Apr 17, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                  I really like Whole Foods store brand Cantina-style salsa in the refrigerated section

                                                  1. njmarshall55 RE: eLizard Apr 17, 2013 02:58 PM

                                                    ATK put a "recommended" on Pace Chunky Medium, but still recognized that home made is always best.

                                                    1. t
                                                      thistle5 RE: eLizard Apr 17, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                      I like Frontera, TJ's salsa verde & tomatillo & roasted yellow chili, & yes, Pace Picante for certain applications....

                                                      1. w
                                                        wellbaked RE: eLizard Aug 3, 2013 01:02 AM

                                                        We used to have a brand named Frog Ranch here in central Ohio in some stores.It was amazing for salsa out of the jar, lil pricey though. Med. was like (mild/med).

                                                        1. Perilagu Khan RE: eLizard Aug 4, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                          Recently discovered a brand called Texas Texas that is surprisingly good.

                                                          1. n
                                                            NattyP RE: eLizard Aug 5, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                            Frontera mango and tomatillo mixed together. I had a party and a few people said it was the best (jarred) they'd had.

                                                            1. n
                                                              NVJims RE: eLizard Aug 6, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                              La Mexicana Hot or Medium salsa is excellent. very fresh.

                                                              1. m
                                                                mdg559 RE: eLizard Feb 26, 2014 09:29 AM

                                                                Believe it or not...
                                                                The hands-down best salsa for the money is Price Chopper's Medium Chunky Salsa - $2 a jar! Possibly even the best regardless of money.

                                                                1. njmarshall55 RE: eLizard Mar 21, 2014 05:36 AM

                                                                  Got a hold of Mrs. Renfro jarred salsa. Not bad at all.

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