Hello all! Here I have a bottle I have been holding out on for a while. I have, perhaps unfairly, associated Leal’s with big box stores. I used to work at one, and we carried Leal’s, so I have a preconceived notion that their salsa will be bad. After trying Pace salsa for the first time in a couple decades I have decided to see if Leal’s can rearrange my perceptions in a positive direction! I think I have a link on Amazon, but there is only the company name for a picture and I can’t see the ingredients list anywhere, so I’m not 100% sure….
Bottle Design and Label
The bottle is short and fat, like Ol’ Gringo, Arriba!, and the Lobos salsas. I like this shape, even if it has a larger footprint in the fridge. The super wide mouth makes it very easy to get the salsa out of the jar. I am still eating straight from the can, so I still like this feature. The lid is purple, and ties in nicely with the label. There is only basic information on the lid, like refrigerate after opening and, this pops up when opened.
The label wraps all the way around the jar, so I am forced to turn it upside down to get the best view of the salsa within. The trim is mostly purple, as well as most of the words. There are two little red peppers in the name, their stems are the only bit of green on the whole label. In the front part of the label where the branding is we can see that this salsa has all natural ingredients and never any preservatives.
I’m guessing that this is a new label, because all along the bottom it says same great taste and new look… Directly to the left and right of center is some Aztec or Mayan looking art with the word hot in the middle. The design is red and orange, and I think it ties in with the purple bits nicely.
Spin around to the back and you can read a little bit about the Leal family and their products. Since 1957… Well, they have been at it for a good while anyways! Once again the natural ingredients/no preservatives philosophy is reiterated, as well as no artificial flavors.
Also on the back end of the label is the contact information, nutrition facts, and ingredients list. Another salsa with just a few ingredients, I’m liking it so far! I don’t see the go Texan stamp, I wonder if that is something that must be purchased, or if all the ingredients do not come from Texas? I have the same questions with the New Mexico Traditions stamp on New Mexican salsas… I guess Google is only a click away lol.
Smells and Visuals
Looking thru the glass I spy a nice red shade of tomatoes. Some seeds are visible here and there. There are some small bits of green, the peppers. I also can see some small flecks of white, the garlic I’m assuming. The onion is visible once the jar is opened, but I can not see the pieces thru the glass due to them being clear.
Popping the top! From a distance I smell the garlic, up close I smell the tomatoes. The tomatoes smell tangy. They have that metallic smell, like canned tomatoes. These are the only smells I can pick out of the can.
Taste Texture and Heat
The first thing I notice is the texture. The pieces are all pretty small, but the tomato still has some meat texture to it. The occasional seed adds a bit of crunch. There is also a piece of tomato skin here and there that adds a nice contrast to the texture. I like the texture.
The tomatoes don’t seem to be very tangy, but they have an odd flavor. I can’t tell if they are canned or if the slight metallic flavor is from something else. I believe the salt is just about right. I can taste it eating this salsa all alone, so it might even be a touch much when on a chip. Something is adding a very slight bitter undertone. The salt perhaps, it almost has a hint of that bitter taste you get when you put too much salt on something.
Heat me up, Scotty! The heat is listed as hot. I think that might be a slight stretch. I would class it perhaps as upper medium or lower hot. I have a bit of forehead sweat, as well as cheek. My nose has loosened up slightly, and my mouth has a nice glow. I did fog my glasses that are resting on top of my head though, so…
Nutrition Facts and Ingredients
All in all this salsa is much better than I anticipated. It has some odd tones, but it still seems to be pretty good. It is definitely unique with it’s flavor profile. I really like the texture, all small stuff but it still has some variations. It’s not extremely hot, but it has a nice kick. I will have to give it a go with chips and maybe do some cooking with it to see how it handles. I will report back if I get that far with it!
Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment, cass.
Not an affiliate link. Leal’s.