Hello, all! Here we have another one from El Pinto. My expectations are high! I believe I have had this flavor, but it hasn’t been for about 15 or so years, so I may be wrong. The ingredients list is short and the color is vibrant, so I can only assume the flavor will be on point. I can not find this variety on Amazon, but I do have a link to El Pinto’s own site down at the bottom.
Bottle Design and Label
The bottle design is the same on all the El Pinto jars I have seen. It is a normal shaped jar with a fairly wide mouth. Getting the salsa out of the container should offer no issues here.
The lid is yellow, which corresponds with the heat rating of medium. El Pinto will come with a green, yellow, or red lid, depending on the heat level. Can you guess which is hot and which is medium? Around the edge of this lid is stamped “medium” several times, so there should be no confusion. I think that’s a nice touch. On the top is the brand name, “all natural!” and a picture of the salsa twins with their web address.
The label here looks like the older design, but has some updates. It has maroon borders that nearly match the color of the salsa within. Across the top in yellow lettering we see that this is the world’s best tasting New Mexico salsa, which is a bold claim! A bit to the left of center we can see the Scovie Awards #1 ribbon though, so there might be something to that claim. I just went to the store, and it would appear that El Pinto is switching all their labels to the new design containing the farmhouse and field. A picture of the new label can be seen here.
In the center just below the branding we can see a drawing of their restaurant, established in 1962, and a small arch of flowers or something similar over the top. Along the bottom it says, again, all natural, and medium roasted jalapeno salsa. …I do need to get to Albuquerque and give their restaurant a go… In tiny print under this it says “with select flame-roasted & hand peeled jalapenos”. That sounds like a tedious job, I’d like to visit their factory on that note!
On the left hand side we can see the Scovie ribbon. Further left reveals some tasty looking pictures of food, which are recipes from their site. I am getting hungry just looking at them… At the top we can see this salsa is a healthy choice, it’s gluten free, low carb, and all natural. They are really pushing the “all natural” bit, eh? Another picture of the salsa twins, and some garlic, tomatoes, and jalapenos can be seen right below this. There is a paragraph that again states this salsa is all natural… They also repeat the bit about hand peeled tomatoes. The paragraph also briefly tells us how it is made and gives some ideas for consumption. Those ideas happen to coincide with the pictures below.
On the other end of the label we see the heat index thermometer, the flames are filling the medium space. There is the New Mexico Traditions stamp and chill and serve instructions. The nutrition facts and ingredients list are both nestled snugly between these bits of information.
I notice a bunch of repeat information on the label. I don’t know the reasoning behind this, but it seems like overkill to me. Maybe it helps the intended message stick? I can say I probably won’t forget that this salsa is all natural. 🙂 I wonder if the new label will be as repetitive?
Smells and Visuals
Looking thru the glass I see a nice red color greeting me. It is dark red, almost a maroon. I can see some seeds, they look like they’re from the jalapenos. There are some little black bits and little white bits. We all know where the black pieces came from, but I think the white dots are likely garlic. I see some little pieces of green, the jalapeno. The tomato chunks look appetizing, not too big. That’s cool, another salsa that all the ingredients are visible. Well, with the exception of salt… Some others that I could do that with are Sadies Lobo salsa and El Pinto Fire Roasted Green Chile Sauce.
Cracking the seal I can definitely smell the tomatoes. They have a slight tang to their aroma. It is almost the aroma of a canned tomato, even though I know it’s not. Perhaps I can smell the peeling agents? It’s not a bad smell though.
Taste Texture and Heat
Yep, definitely a tomato salsa! They taste very nice though, with just a hint of tang, and they have that meaty texture. The tomatoes have been cooked, but not to the point of becoming mush. The water tastes like tomato juice, which I guess it should, since it’s the only ingredient with any substantial amount of water. There is some separation of chunk and water, but it is acceptable to me. It is neither a chunky paste or watery mess, it is a nice blend that falls in between.
I can not separate out the jalapeno flavor from the tomato one, but they are definitely adding their spice. They are also adding nicely to the texture, they have a bit of crunch that the tomatoes lack. The salt is just about perfect, I think. The garlic seems to be hiding behind the tomato, however. I’m kind of reminded of a chunky and spicy V8. It is pretty good! I did not notice any seeds adding to the texture, I think they are too far apart.
The heat is spot on, I’d say. It is upper medium. I’m getting some brow and cheek sweat, and I feel my sinuses loosening a bit. My tongue and lips have that nice burning sensation that reminds me that I have just had a spicy something. I’m curious to see how much hotter the hot variety is. As it is, it’s just hot enough to feel adventurous, and not too hot to keep from continuing consuming. The heat sensation lingers nicely for a good while too.
Nutrition Facts and Ingredients
All in all, I would say this El Pinto Roasted Jalapeno Salsa is very good. I like the taste of the tomatoes, the snap and crunch of the jalapenos, the meaty texture of the tomatoes, and the salt level. The texture is good, the taste is good, the heat is good, the salsa is good! The only thing I can think to knock it for is that the garlic is so subdued, which could be good or bad, depending on your point of view. It does remind me of a V8 drink, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I bet it will go great on beans, eggs, chips, or whatever else I can think to add some salsa to. Have you had this one? Let everyone know what you thought in the comments!
Not sure if it is the world’s best as claimed, but it is mighty good. I would have to have the opportunity to try them all at the same time before I could agree with that statement! Bring it on!
Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment, cass.
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