Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Salsa Connoisseur: Primavera Organic Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa

One of the (many) oddities of living in California is the apparent easier availability of organic over "regular" products.  Often, I have to double- and triple-check that the bunch of bananas I'm holding is a normal bunch of bananas, not a "have fun paying twice as much as you should with no real benefit" bunch of bananas.  But sometimes, it slips under the radar, and I end up purchasing something organic in spite of myself.

Oh, California.

Texture: a little watery.  It's true that I like my salsa fluid rather than chunky, but that comes mostly from the fineness of the vegetables.  This salsa has roughly the consistency of soup, but it holds on a chip surprisingly well.  Much better a little watery than "thick and chunky."

Heat: a solid "medium" to "hot".  There's no description of this salsa's heat anywhere on the package, which is a little odd in a market dominated by cartoons of chilis and bright colors loudly proclaiming how much heat is supposed to be packed into the salsa.  Ironically, a disproportionate number of salsas that advertise their heat think they are "medium-hot"; this salsa hits the nearest to "medium hot" of any that I've tried lately.

Flavor: definite smoky taste at the beginning, which comes from both the chipotle peppers and roasted tomatoes.  That flavor fades to generic--but good!--salsa pretty quickly.  It's slanted away from tangy yin of vinegar and tomato and toward the yang of salt and garlic, but it's certainly not overwhelming.  The ingredient list for this salsa is pretty simple: tomatoes, onions, jalapenos (which, once they are smoked, magically become chipotle peppers), garlic, oil, vinegar, and sea salt.  That's right: if it weren't hipster enough already to be eating an organic salsa made in Sonoma bought at the local independent supermarket, now you're eating one made with sea salt.  Overly complicated saline aside, the simplicity and conventionality of the ingredient list is what makes the salsa work.

Available at Berkeley Bowl; 10.5 oz for $3.29 (31 cents per ounce).  This is a fine fresh salsa that has a smoky, roasted flavor as its exactly one distinguishing characteristic.  But that's enough to make me enjoy it and want to buy it again.

Currently listening: Hurley, Weezer (with review probably to follow soon)

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