On Sunday we headed over to Pahl’s Market to check out their corn pit. A box made from hay bales and filled with dried corn kernels, this is a popular destination for the kiddos. On our way out we made a stop in the main building and I spied some jars of Cherith Valley Gardens salsa. Pahl’s only had Mango-Lime, Raspberry-Cilantro and the unlisted Pineapple-Chipotle I eventually chose.
The ingredient list looked great:
- Tomato, pineapple, tomato paste, onion, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, sugar, chipotle pepper, salt, and distilled vinegar
The salsa itself looked great with huge chunks of pineapple, visible garlic and sometimes long leafs of cilantro in addition to the tomato base. Coming out of Texas, I was expecting quite a bit of heat and smoke to come out from behind the sweet of the pineapple. Unfortunately the huge chunks of pineapple and the added sugar really crushed any flavor from the garlic, cilantro and especially the chipotle. In fact, it overpowered them so much I couldn’t taste anything at except sweet.
While at Pahl’s, I noticed they had a large basket of homegrown habaneros which were just starting to turn red. I picked four and took them up to the counter with the salsa. With the salsa at $8.99 and coming out sweeter than Sweedish Fish, I was happy to have purchased the habaneros to give me the heat this salsa so desperately needed. After pouring out a small bowl full and taking a few tastes, I added an entire habanero figuring these Minnesota homegrowns wouldn’t have the heat I require. Well, I was wrong–incredibly wrong.
After that I took one habanero and cut it up adding it to the 3/4 jar of salsa which ended up being plenty of heat for me and elevated this incredibly mediocre salsa to a level which put it right up there with some of the finest store-bought salsas I’ve tried over the years. For those of you shaking your heads and saying this is just Bill being Bill, The Wife also noted the salsa is very sweet and carried and unappetizing aftertaste (cilantro for her).
Overall, at $9, this is a big pass for me. There was absolutely no smoke or heat from the chipotle and Texans should really know better. This probably was leftover baby food vegetables which weren’t pureed enough because I could feed this to The Koala right now without any ill effects.
Have you ever tried any of Cherith Valley Gardens salsas? How about any other fruit salsas you would recommend that come with more flavor than just some sugar? What fruit-added salsas do you make for yourself at home? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.