Lucky Dog’s new Dia del Perro hot sauce

Dia del Perro, or “Day of the Dog” is a new salsa verde style hot sauce from the award-winning Lucky Dog Hot Sauce kitchen.

This is no ordinary salsa verde (green sauce).
01-2-labels

Using serrano peppers, tomatillos, roasted garlic, and even chile tepin (bird’s eye), creator Scott Zalkind adds his own signature flavor by smoking his sea salt with alderwood and toasted onion, and infusing that with habanero peppers. The result is a complex and flavorful sauce.

Scott says this is his “tribute to the taqueria-style verde table sauces of California and Mexico”.

We think he nailed it.

Heat Level: Rated 1.5 out of 5 Stars A mild-medium heat that everyone will love.

Overall Rating: Rated 5 out of 5 Stars Superb flavor! Best of the best!

02-texture

Dia del Perro salsa verde from Lucky Dog Hot Sauce

Ingredients: apple cider vinegar, organic apple sauce, serrano peppers, onions, roasted garlic, carrot juice, water, sea salt (alderwood smoked, toasted onion and habanero infused), dried tomatillos, carrots, lime juice concentrate, chile tepin.

Texture & Appearance: Very thick, and very pulpy, this olive green sauce takes some coaxing to get out of the bottle. Once you get things started, the sauce pours a little easier. The pulpy texture makes for a great “mouth feel”. Satisfying.

03-texture

Taste Straight Up: We smell the vinegar and “green” flavors up front, but surprisingly, the vinegar taste is not overbearing. Even the lime flavor is muted – a good thing for us, as we don’t care for verde sauces that have too much tang from the lime and/or vinegars.

And I already mentioned the pulp provides a nice mouth feel, which only adds to the taste experience.

Finally, I want to point out what we perceive as the classic Lucky Dog Hot Sauce signature flavor component – and that is the smoked sea salt. Infusing his sea salt with various woods and veggies and peppers is tantamount to sheer genius. And we don’t know of any other sauce maker that takes this step to round out their recipe or sauce in such a unique way.

We feel this step alone sets Lucky Dog Hot Sauces and specifically the new Dia del Perro sauce in a class all its own. Distinctive.

Heat Level: Rated 1.5 out of 5 Stars – The slight burn is a bit “sting-y” as Marilyn puts it – probably from the contribution the chile tepin peppers add at the very end of ingredients.

I disagree with the “sting-y” description. I find the overall heat level is simply “warm” – very middle of the road. Reliable.

Label/Graphics: With a unique departure from the usual look of his labels, Scott enlisted artist Robin Case for the “sugar skull” graphic that adorns this bottle. Familiar, as it’s still his beloved black lab Lucky as the model, yet artsy-fartsy. Bonus: if you’re in California, it’s available as a tattoo. Contact Scott for details. Impressive.

Taste on food

04-tacos

Tacos: We cooked up a big batch of Tacos using our homemade taco seasoning, and just went nuts pouring Dia del Perro sauce onto them. The fresh flavor of Dia del Perro was very complimentary. It blended well with the spicy meat, crispy tacos, and sour cream. Winner.

05-tostadas

Flour Tostadas: Again, the sauce rocked on these. The Flour Tostadas almost gave us a better picture of the sauce.

We could really taste the flavors of the Dia del Perro on our Flour Tostadas, even more than on the tacos from the night before. If you want to know how to make these, just shoot us an email or use the Contact Us menu. Fresh and bold.

Where to buy

All of Lucky Dog’s Hot Sauces are available at http://luckydoghotsauce.com/

Tell Scott that HotSauceDaily sent you!

High Octane Sauce Company on Kickstarter

High Octane Sauce Company, from Katy, Texas, has launched a Kickstarter campaign. They are currently making over 20 different hot sauces and salsas and are trying to raise funds to purchase additional equipment to continue producing high quality, Artisan style sauces.

high octane on kickstarter

High Octane Sauce Company on Kickstarter

Kevin and Audrey Billings of High Octane Sauce Company need some help with their Kickstarter campaign. Please visit their Kickstarter page and consider pledging to help them continue to grow. They are offering some really nice “rewards” for your pledge.

high octane sauces products

Their Tire Smokin’ Salsa, available in Medium and Hot, was one of our Favorite Products of 2012, as well as a 1st Place Winner in Austin in 2013.

tire smokin salsa from high octane

Visit them at http://highoctanesauceco.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

What is Kickstarter?

We’re a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, 5.6 million people have pledged $966 million, funding 55,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.

Kickstarter.com is a crowd-funding source, where you pledge an amount of funds – from $1 and up. The campaign you choose to back offers “rewards” at different levels of pledges – you pick your pledge and reward.

We have a lot of fun backing projects or “campaigns” on Kickstarter – especially food companies like High Octane. We’ve supported over 20 projects on Kickstarter. Some are successful, some are not.

If the campaign does NOT meet their goal, you owe nothing. And pledges are easy to make using any credit card via Amazon Payments. Easy peasy, and your card does NOT get charged unless and until they meet their goal. Very little risk. I just backed another project while I was writing this post!

So please consider helping out Kevin and Audrey of High Octane Sauce Company with their Kickstarter campaign NOW! There’s only 15 days left, and they need us now.

Salinas Salsa Mild Angel Hot

A fresh salsa created in small batches that is authentic with every mouth watering bite. A homemade taste like no other.

salinas salsa mild medium hot trio

Salinas Salsa Mild Angel Hot Salsa

Salinas Salsa, Co. is heating up Texas and beyond with their line of super fresh salsas. They are winning awards like the 2014 Worldfest People’s Choice Champion for Salsa Challenge.

This first review of 3 salsas begins with their “Mild Angel Hot” salsa. Salinas Salsa Mile is orange in color but green in flavor with cilantro and jalapeños and serrano chiles.

salinas salsa mild texture

Nice texture.

Ingredients: fresh variety of tomatoes and onions, cilantro, fresh jalapeños & serrano peppers, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, fresh herbs and spices & sea salt.

salinas salsa mild texture closeup

Small, chunky texture is satisfying.

Texture & Appearance: Rated 5 out of 5 Stars 5/5 – Beautiful bright salsa with a medium grind texture. Remarkable for the consistent size of tiny chunks of tomatoes and chiles. I love the “chew” factor and crunch. Superb.

Taste Straight Up: Rated 5 out of 5 Stars 5/5 – Big taste of tomatoes and onions – almost like a “pico de gallo” flavor, without the big chunks. The garlic flavor is there, with the vinegar in the background with a fresh lime taste supporting the bright flavor of the chiles. The serrano peppers bring their own unique flavor without an overpowering heat. Classic.

Heat Level: Rated 1 out of 5 Stars 1/5 – The heat in Salinas Salsa Mild would appeal to everyone from Mom and Dad to Uncle “Chilehead” Ed. Just the right amount of heat and flavor to please everyone. Satisfying.

Nice cut-out style label.

Nice cut-out style label.

Label/Graphics: Very classy with a “cut-out” designed label, but a bit on the dark side with the fonts. It’s hard to read from a distance, but the shape is recognizable once you become familiar with it. Original, but hard to read. On the plus side, the label doesn’t cover up much of the jar, so the contents are easily seen. Innovative.

Final Thoughts

Salsa, salsa, salsa. Red, red, red. That’s pretty typical, isn’t it? Salinas Salsa Mild is a green tasting salsa with a bright orange look. It is incredibly fresh tasting for a jarred salsa. It is truly green only in flavor and concept. Highly recommended.

We did the dip and chip standard taste test…

salinas salsa green on chips

Made for chips and dipping.

…and heated some up on some nachos with taco meat and cheese. Delicious.

salinas green salsa on nachos

Perfect on nachos anyway you like them.

Stay tuned to our reviews of the other Salinas Salsa Co. offerings – That’s Good Hot, and Hunter’s Habanero Hot.

About Salinas Salsa Co.

Salinas Salsa, Co. is from the founder Eliseo ‘Shane’ Salinas, Jr. – created to make a natural homemade taste & spicy blend to match the flavors he grew up with. This a natural homemade taste that infuses Texas & Mexico together to give you the authentic taste and feel of the deep TexMex south.

Social Media: Follow Salinas Salsa Co on Facebook, Salinas Salsa on Google+, and on Twitter.

Where to buy: You can visit http://salinassalsaco.com/ to purchase all of their salsas, and as usual, please tell Shane that HotSauceDaily sent you.

If you are a fan of Salinas Salsa Co., please let us know in the Comments below. Are you a fan of green salsas? What do you like in a salsa? We want to know that too!

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 https://www.frankievskitchen.com/

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.

Crazy Good Raging Pineapple Salsa Review

Crazy Good Specialty Foods out of Hernando, MS has just released their Raging Pineapple Hot Salsa.

crazy good pineapple salsa

I love anything pineapple – salsas, bbq sauces, glazes, ice cream toppings, yogurt – if it has pineapple in it, I’m all in. We even posted our own recipe for a quick Pineapple Salsa you can make at home. Let’s see if Crazy Good Raging Pineapple Salsa deserves a spot on my list of good pineapple stuff.

Crazy Good Raging Pineapple Salsa

Crazy Good Raging Pineapple Salsa

Crazy Good Raging Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients: pineapple (pineapple, pineapple juice), diced tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato juice, salt), crushed tomato (tomato, salt, citric acid, spices), water, jalapeno peppers, distilled vinegar, poblano peppers, onions, orange habanero peppers, sugar, kosher salt, granulated garlic, natural smoke flavor, xanthan gum.

Texture & Appearance: Small chunks in a medium thick sauce, with a nice body and red color. Red? This is pineapple salsa! Where’s the bright yellow pineapple chunks? Well, they’re in there for sure, but with all the tomato ingredients and the jalapeño and poblano peppers, the nice yellow pineapple bits get colored over and lost in the overall look. So, it looks for all the world like your typical salsa. Ok, no biggie. Don’t panic.

closeup of crazy good pineapple salsa

Closeup of Crazy Good Pineapple Salsa – chunky

Taste Straight Up: Out of the jar, a spoonful tastes like tomatoes at first, and garlic and jalapeños. The poblano chiles lend just a little dark flavor followed by the heat of the orange habaneros. Only a hint of the pineapple brings a slight fruit flavor to the mix.

Heat Level: Rated 2.5 out of 5 Stars – 2.5/5 Right in the middle. Actually, the heat is on the far end of medium, just slightly. Habaneros are the chile that bring on the most heat in this recipe. And it’s a bright, fresh tasting heat. I thought at first, it was quite hot during the first couple of bites. Then I got used to it, and was able to eat more and more.

Label/Graphics: There’s an angry pineapple in the center of the label – that’s pretty cool. But most of the other lettering is muted and gets lost in the background colors. I think the fonts and colors could pop a bit more.

Crazy Good Pineapple Salsa served cold with chips

Crazy Good Pineapple Salsa served cold with chips

Taste on Food: Crazy Good recommends serving this salsa “cold for maximum flavor”. So that is how I first tried it with tortilla chips. And it really does bring out all the flavors and heat when you dip a chip into this cold salsa.

Small plate nachos with salsa

Small plate nachos with salsa

Next, I made a small plate of simple nachos with tortilla chips, 4 cheese shredded, and Raging Pineapple Salsa. I enjoyed the salsa so much more this way. It was gently heated as the cheese melted and the chips got crispy. I preferred this over the straight up / served cold chips and salsa.

Finally, and I couldn’t get it out of my head, that this just may make a good pineapple ice cream topping, so I had a few spoonfuls over vanilla ice cream.

05-ice-cream-with-pineapple-salsa

Don’t do this…

Unless you like tomato salsa on your ice cream. Because when it comes down to it, this IS a tomato based salsa with the addition of pineapple chunks. Then again, you may like it. People put some weird stuff on their ice cream!

Overall Rating / Final Thoughts: Rated 2 out of 5 Stars – I was a little disappointed that the pineapple wasn’t the big flavor player here. This is not the fruity salsa I had expected based on the name. Raging? Yes. Salsa, yes. Pineapple? Just a little.

All in all, it’s flavorful from the 3 chiles in the mix – the garlic is fairly present, and the quality of the tomato base is solid. Crazy Good Raging Pineapple Salsa – Hot, is pretty good! It’s just not an over-the-top pineapple mix.

Parting shot of some good nachos with Crazy Good Raging Pineapple Salsa

Parting shot of some good nachos with Crazy Good Raging Pineapple Salsa

While this salsa will not make my list of favorite pineapple products, it really is a very good, high quality salsa that brings on a nice bite and big flavors. I would be proud to serve it at any party or tailgate. Let’s face it, your friends would be wowed to know it’s a pineapple salsa, without tasting like a sweet pineapple sauce. Yea, people are like that. They like the familiar. Get yourself some, and try it for yourself.

You can order all the delicious Crazy Good products at CrazyGoodSauce.com

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