I really like the packaging for some Trader Joe's products. This is definitely one of them. The picture on the label makes me want to fly down and visit my wife's family in Oaxaca, Mexico immediately. I don't know if it looks anything like the picture on the bottle, but I imagine that it does. I have been brushing up on my español lately. I even know how to type "ñ" now on a US keyboard. That little thingy on top isn't a "squiggle," I've learned, but rather it is a "tilde," as in Tilda Swinton. And I'm hoping, since this blog shows up fairly well on Google searches, that certain unsuspecting individuals who are searching for info on how to type that "ñ" will wind up stumbling upon our page, falling in love with our unique style of epic first-person narrative food reviews, and becoming big fans of our blog. So for those good people, I throw the following bone: simply hold down "alt" and then type "164" on your number pad. Voila: ñ.
Another aspect of TJ's packaging that I'm a fan of is their special spice-o-meter in the shape of a little chili pepper that appears on most of thier salsas and hot sauces, despite it's occasional inaccuracy. This will be the third product we've reviewed that has such a spice-o-meter, following in the footsteps of the jalapeño hot sauce and the chunky salsa. This one falls in between the first two, and appears to be approximately 2/3 red. Sonia and I think that's an overestimation of this salsa's spiciness. I'd put it somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2.
There is significant cider vinegar taste in the sauce. I thought I detected a pickle type flavor, but there are no pickles or cucumbers in the ingredients. It does also taste like roasted peppers, however, my taste buds are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between single roasted peppers and double roasted ones. There's a bit of a limey tang as well.
The ingredients are all remarkably simple and natural, without any bizarre-o chemicals or preservatives. There are vegetable bits present, but not chunks. It's good for chip-dipping, and it would probably be good for topping off enchiladas or tacos, too.
All in all, a decent salsa. I could stand it with less pickliness, and I prefer big chunks of tomato and pepper. Sonia's assessment was basically the same as mine. We both give it 3.5's, placing it solidly within the "not bad" category.
Bottom line: 7 out of 10.