By now, I've grown so accustomed to them I rarely have to think about them much. It's kind of like natural knowledge at this point. And to her credit, I think she's opened up to more kinds of foods. But there's still one sure-fire food item that she'll refuse to have nearly any part with: tomatoes. Except for maybe a little ketch-up and just enough sauce to make her pasta noodles semi-red, Sandy wants nothing to do with them. Increasingly, salsa is getting some more leeway for her in this department, even though she's still a little wary of the chunkier varieties and prefers salsa verde, which is made from tomatillos, over the more usual salsa types.
I guess that's why Trader Jose's Corn and Chile Tomato-Less Salsa appeals to her so much. There's the huge upfront plus of no tomatoey guts being spilled for its sake. Plus, it's something different than the usual variety, though I'm not so positive about its authenticity as an actual salsa class instead of being a gringoey gimmick. Correct me if I am wrong. The only other time I've seen or heard anything about corn-based salsa is at Qdoba's or Chipotle's, and though I've never tried it there, that stuff has always appeared to me to be more spiced corn than an actual salsa. That's how the TJ's brand strikes me as well, except to say it's spiced is a little bit of an overstatement. It doesn't have the spicy pepper meter that usually overstates heat level on the jar label, and I'd like to think that was on purpose because, to me, it'd barely register a blip. There's a little heat that emanates from the back of your throat after a corner-of-a-chip-ful or three, but that's about it, and it's more than balanced out by the overall sweetness. Like any good American food product, the two chief ingredients in the salsa are corn and sugar, which makes the salsa seemingly syrupy-sweet. There's not nearly enough jalapeños and spices to combat it with any sort of effectiveness. It's kinda like flinging rubberbands at a tank - not gonna work. One good thing the salsa has going for it is, it's decently fresh tasting as the corn kernels taste like they were just stripped from the cob, and certainly not mushy but good and firm, almost crunchy in a way.
Anyways, Sandy loves it. Last night, as I came downstairs after a post-work/pre-dinner shower, I could hear her rustling our bag of soy and flaxseed chips shut followed shortly by the sound of a jar lid being screwed back on. I got to the kitchen just in time to see her one step away from our fridge, half-gone jar of salsa in hand, with a very guilty look on her face. This is an extremely common scenario in our house, except with the roles reversed. Granted, we poked at it some the night before, but she did some serious work on it while I was washing away the day at work. "It's just so good, I could eat it by the spoonful," she said. "Apparently," I said as I shook my head and tsk-tsked her. I couldn't be too mad not only because I've been the guilty party in this situation way too often and therefore thought grace would be the wisest route to go, but also because honestly I don't like nearly as much as she does. I'm going to have to go low and give it a 1.5. Sorry, while it's a good premise and has potential, it just doesn't have enough spice to hold my interest, and it's way too sugary-sweet for me to even try to pretend it's a mild, enjoyable salsa for me. While she agreed it needed to be spicier, Sandy was so joyful about finding a salsa she liked without tomatoes, she literally broke out into song as she scaled our stairs to turn herself in for the night with a good book. "It has no tomatoes, it has no tomatoes, that makes me happpppyyyyy, it has no tomatoes," she sang to our beloved little fur baby as he no doubt shot back a quizzical look. Sandy toyed with giving it a perfect five before settling on a 4.5, tripling(!!!) my score. Usually we agree more or less on our rankings, so this type of split is definitely unprecedented and hard to repeat. Sandy's probably happy though, because since I don't like it so much, it means more for her.
Enjoy the rest of the jar, dear. All yours.
Bottom line: 6 out 10 Golden Spoons