Frankie V’s Kitchen Salsas review

Frankie V and the Serranos – Frankie V and the Habaneros – two salsa offerings from Frankie V’s Kitchen of Dallas, Texas that also make Spooky White and Fiery White hot sauces.

Frankie V's Kitchen Salsas

Frankie V’s Kitchen Salsas

FRANKIE V’S GOURMET HOT SAUCES AND SPREADS are made using the freshest and highest quality ingredients, local when we can and 100% all natural, Texas Style! Frankie V’s passion for cooking was the inspiration for transforming the ordinary into a culinary masterpiece. Made from scratch with attention to detail, every jar is inspected and approved before it leaves Frankie V’s Kitchen. Great food that’s great for you!

We met the inimitable Frankie V at the NYC Hot Sauce Festival, where Frankie V’s Kitchen won a 1st Place Screaming Mi Mi Award for Best Artwork as well as a 2nd Place Mi Mi for his Serrano salsa.

Frankie V at NYC Hot Sauce Expo 2013

Frankie V at NYC Hot Sauce Expo 2013

Frankie V & The Serranos

Frankie V's Serrano

Frankie V’s Serrano

I’ve mentioned many times publicly and here on this blog, that serranos are one of my top 2 favorite chiles for salsa (the other being chipotle chiles), and when you combine serranos with tomatillos, you have the makings of a very green, very flavorful salsa or hot sauce – if done right.

Texture & Appearance: This sauce is of a very fine grind. Think apple sauce consistency. And you can see in the pics that it has a bright green color.

Frankie V's Serrano up close

Frankie V’s Serrano up close

Taste Straight Up: First up, a big hit of sweetness from the pear and pineapple give way to what you may perceive as vinegar… nope. That would be the tomatillos. A light garlic flavor finishes with the mild heat of the serrano chile peppers – with the lime juice adding a slight “tang” to the whole mix. This green serrano-based salsa with tomatillos and pineapple really brings on the fresh, citrusy flavor of a good mild salsa. And surprisingly, there is no vinegar in this salsa.

Heat level: Rated 1/2 out of 5 Stars – ½/5 A very mild salsa with a big “green” flavor.

Frankie V's front label

Frankie V’s front label

Label/Graphics: Some of the best graphics we’ve seen in awhile. With a simple black & white “turn of the century” sideshow/circus “silent movie card” style of flourished fonts and embellishments – the front panel and side panel graphics are inventive and entertaining. Some would argue the panels are hard to read, and indeed some of the text is very tiny (ingredients among them), but there is a reason Frankie V’s won best graphics at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.

Frankie V's Best Art Awards

Frankie V's side label

Frankie V’s side label

Ingredients: tomatillos, pear, pineapple, mango, onion, agave nectar, garlic, serrano pepper, cilantro, lime juice, coconut oil.

Overall Rating: Rated 4 out of 5 StarsFrankie V & The Serranos could be just a bit hotter to get our favorite rating of 5. But for flavor and quality it’s up there!

Frankie V & The Habaneros

Frankie V's Habanero sauce

Habanero salsas, in my opinion, can be like habanero hot sauces – you either love ’em or not. I think it takes a true stroke of genius to craft a hot sauce or salsa with mainly habaneros, and not have it turn out to be simply hot for hot’s sake. Before the onslaught of the “superhots” (ghost, scorpion, jolokia), the habanero chile was the venerable king of the hottest chiles. Ok, this has been a few years, but stay with me here. And at its inception as a hot sauce chile ingredient, habanero salsas and sauces were all simply salt, vinegar and habaneros.

As a result, I was really late to the party as a fan of habanero sauces. To this day, there are still some that are simply the trio of ingredients. But things have changed! As the hot sauce crafters’ world has grown, and with the influx of chef created and inventive sauces, I’ve come around to actually liking habanero based products. Frankie V & The Habaneros Salsa is yet another one that raises the bar.

Frankie V's Habanero closeup

Frankie V’s Habanero closeup

Texture & Appearance: Not surprisingly, this salsa is of the same “apple sauce” consistency as the Serrano. Not that that’s a bad thing. Consistency, folks. A nice, fine grind (and I’m a fan of the fine grind as well as the coarse, chunky grind) – this is a medium-hot salsa that would just go over as gangbusters at your next tailgating/foo-foo dinner party. Yea, it would fit into both worlds.

Taste Straight Up: Wow. This just may be the most unique habanero based salsa we’ve ever had at the HSD HQ. Again, like the Serrano, sweet taste from the pineapple comes on strong, supported by the mango. Even the tomatoes lend a bit of body and sweetness – but ultimately, it’s the habanero and garlic that bring on the heat.

Heat level: Rated 1.5 out of 5 Stars – 1½/5 I’m pushing the limits of 1.5 stars here. I really want to say just 1 star, but there is the undeniable zing and heat and flavor of the habanero involved. And even though there is the habanero chile pepper in this salsa, it still remains a mild-medium salsa.

Ingredients: tomatoes, pineapple, mango, white onion, habanero, raw agave nectar, lemon juice, garlic, coconut oil, chili powder.

Overall Rating: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – Again, Frankie V & The Habaneros would garner our highest rating of 5 if only it packed a bit more heat. But we realize not everyone is a Chilehead, and to cater to the masses, you have to compromise a bit. Still, it’s a stellar salsa.

Final Thoughts: Of course we had these salsas with chips, and the obligatory pizza slices. But they really shined when added to a small plate of nachos.

Frankie V's on pizza

Frankie V’s Habanero on left, Serrano on right

Frankie V's Serrano nachos

Frankie V’s Serrano nachos

Frankie V's Habanero nachos

Frankie V’s Habanero nachos

Where to buy: You can purchase any Frankie V’s Kitchen products on their website

You can also follow Frankie V’s Kitchen on Facebook.

Which of the two do you think you would most enjoy? The Frankie V & The Serranos or the Frankie V & The Habaneros?
Tell us in the Comments below.

About Brian Meagher

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  1. Charlie says:

    On my “must try” list after your review. Looks tasty!

  2. steve chambers says:

    not a huge fan of salsa but these look great specially the serrano

  3. Taylor says:

    Best salsa’s I’ve had, great with everything!!! I give it 5 out of 5 any day!

  4. I think The Serranos would be our favorite, it looks fantastic on those nachos. We actually prefer salsa verde to red salsas since we found the magic of tomatillos. You’re making me crave chicken enchiladas now.

  5. I tend to like both green and red equally. But green chiles, green chile dust and sauce – my new favorite enchiladas.

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