Life is too short for average salsa. You know the kind — the runny stuff missing all of the ingredients that are either too sweet or too spicy.
Sure, the Super Bowl is right around the bend, which probably has you thinking about finger food staples like chips and dip (wash your hands and continue to be safe, people). But salsa is not reserved for just sporting events or Taco Tuesdays. It’s useful stuff, filling out scores of recipes from enchiladas to your morning eggs.
Which is to say, we’re not zipping through the salsa aisle. It’s a place — online or at your local grocer — that’s full of haves and have-nots, at least in terms of flavor and kitchen pantry value. It’s also a realm of interesting riffs incorporating things like tomatillos or mangos. So, when it comes time to dip a tasty breakfast burrito or flesh out your stack of nachos, here are the salsas to pay attention to.
Of the lauded tomatillo sub-genre of salsas, this one is likely the best. It’s made with cilantro, garlic, and serrano peppers and comes off like a batch that’s been patiently assembled by somebody with a high salsa IQ.
Made in Texas with a balanced bill of spices, vinegar, and jalapeno, this salsa touts a useful disclaimer on its label in “not responsible for obsession.” It’s an easy salsa to fall head over heels for and comes in a nice variety of spice levels, involving various members of the pepper family.
La Esquina Roja
The salsas of La Esquina have long been appreciated by New Yorkers, where the namesake Mexican restaurant is set. The roja is loaded with flavor, made with Arbol chile peppers and charred tomatillos. Green salsa fanatics will appreciate the brand’s verde version.
Thrive Smoky Chipotle
Built around the one-of-a-kind flavor of chipotle, this organic salsa from Thrive boasts the ideal marriage of savory and spicy. The rustic flavor profile bodes well of other dishes too, from roasted chicken and grilled fish to stuffed peppers or sautéed veggies.
Sabor de Salsita Chile Morita Salsa
This small-batch salsa operation makes an entire lineup of intriguing, flavor-forward salsas. With minimal ingredients (tomatoes, chile, lime juice, garlic, and salt), the Chile Morita delivers so, so much and will have you returning for dip and dip.
Xilli Salsa Macha
This salsa recipe is the work of renowned chef Nacxitl Gaxiola. It blends chipotle with toasted peanuts, chili oil, and more for one of the most compelling salsa experiences in all of condiments land.
Ol’Gringo Chile Company
This New Mexican salsa riff uses local ingredients and engineers its work just a short drive from the border. The sauce offers plenty of heat and is rounded out by a generous serving of tomatoes and cilantro. Also look out for the brand’s chile sauces, great for stews.
A change of pace of sorts, Los Cuates is built around a sturdy chile base as opposed to your standard grade tomato foundation. As such, the consistency and flavor are a bit different, making earthier, grassier, and the right amount of spicy.
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