Winning four awards at the 2012 Houston Hot Sauce Festival, Red’s took home 2 awards in the Salsa Contest with a 3rd Place for Best Fruit-based Salsa (Red’s Mango Habanero Salsa), and 1st Place in Best All-purpose Salsa (Red’s Hot Salsa). They also garnered a 2nd Place People’s Choice Award for Wing Sauce with their Smokey Habanero Hot Sauce AND a 2nd Place People’s Choice Award of Hottest Hot Sauce for their God’s Wrath Ghost Pepper Sauce.
Obviously RedsTexas.com is a company that is putting out some awesome hot sauce products! And hey, at only $5 per jar, it’s cheaper than your upscale grocery store. So stop reading right now, and go order some great Red’s salsa! …
… Oh. You’re still reading? Good! I was lucky to be a judge for the Salsa Contest in Houston. We tasted almost 60 different salsas, and in the end, there were 6 winners in the two categories of “Best Fruit Based” and “Best All Purpose” salsas, with Red’s getting an award in each.
Let’s see how the Red’s Hot Salsa really tastes…
Ingredients: whole tomatos, bell, poblano, serrano, jalapeño, habanero peppers, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, spices, lime and pineapple juice
Texture & Appearance: This medium chunky salsa has just enough liquid juice to keep the chunks incorporated in the mix. I love seeing the light colored bits of garlic against the nice deep red background of the tomato and pepper slurry. My favorite jarred salsa texture is a fine grind that almost resembles a thick pasta sauce. This is my next favorite texture – that being small to medium chunks that really bring some volume to the plate – or chip as it were.
Taste Straight Up: I first smell tomatoes (hey, it IS a salsa), garlic and spices. There is an odd yet welcome hint of an old school Italian pasta sauce that lurks in the background. Not much of a chile pepper smell. But. The first taste, straight up out of the jar, brings on a chile pepper heat level almost immediately along with the fresh tomato taste. The garlic follows, and is rounded out with a nice, spicy finish. A simple sweetness from the lime and pineapple juices as supporting players, makes for a full mouth of flavor in the end. As I write this, I am eating and spooning it straight out of the jar, and I just love it.
Heat Level: – It looks like ol’ Red threw the kitchen sink at this stuff, including the big 5 chile peppers. One would think it would be a mess. Oh no! Somehow, maybe accidentally, maybe on purpose, Red and company have stumbled onto a perfect balance of peppers, flavor and heat! The sting is nice and pleasant and short lived. Bonus points in my book, as you can keep digging in for the next scoop of salsa, knowing that the burn will go away quickly and the flavor will have you craving more.
Label/Graphics: As you can see, the label is astonishingly simple. Almost stupid simple. Yet, it works. It’s “RED’S”. It’s “hot salsa”. And the drop-dead simple caricature of Red in the middle is all you get. (Oh, let’s not overlook the small outline of Texas on the right). I am just enough of a fan of a simple label and graphic to grab a jar or two of this salsa off of the shelf before Marilyn catches me. Here is where unpretentiousness rules!
Overall Rating (Taste on Food, Final Thoughts): – While I’ve had this salsa on my nachos (many times), it really shines as a true “chip and dip” style salsa. Utterly delicous! This salsa will undoubtably make my top 10 products of the year.
Here’s where you can find Red’s online and check out their 5 salsas and 3 hot sauces:
Disclaimer: We received this product courtesy of the manufacturer for review.