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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Trader Joe's Jalapeño Sauce

I'm fortunate to live right around the Pittsburgh area, which has a surprising amount of pretty decent restaurants. Don't take just my word for it. We're like the 2019 Food City of The Year and here's some pretty good places. Or so I hear. Family budget and smaller child preferences don't always lend themselves to going and checking out those kinda places. I told you to not take my word for it.

But one place we've found common ground on is a great little Peruvian place, right in the Strip District where it's an enjoyable night out. It's called Chicken Latino. Great place, and kinda underrated in my humble opinion. And I've been to Pero, so I can at least somewhat vouch that it's fairly authentic. I've had anticuchos in both Lima and at Chicken's close.

I mention this in reference to Trader Joe's Jalapeño Sauce because there is a sauce there, and also from what I remember from Peru, which is an absolute knockout, and I'd be darned if this TJ's take isn't a pretty darn good approximation. It's spicy. It's creamy. It's got all sorts of clean, authentic, jalapeno flavor.

Man...I've used this on so much in the past week or so. Chicken. Eggs. Pulled pork. Yes, yes and yes, it all works. The sauce kinda glops out rather than pour which is okay, it's part of the charm. In Peru, I recall mixing something very similar in with rice and plantains and being extremely happy with the reult. I doubt it'd be much different here. Good, good heat too - very true to the pepper and not artificially amped by vinegar and whatnot.

I have a small quibble, though I'm not sure how to explain it. Look at the ingedients. Canola oil is so high on the list. That makes this a canola oil based sauce. I'm not exactly anti-canola oil...but am I really for it? I don't know. But I kinda wish something else would be used as the sauce base, for whatever reason. I mean, it doesn't taste oily - it really is deceptively creamy - but still. It sticks out.

Regardless, I'm a fan as is the wifey. We both tasted it and thought of Chicken Latino, and to hopefully prove we're not crazy, one of our favorite TJ's peeps. Karen, agreed. Don't know Karen? If you watched the 2017 Rose Bowl Parade, you would. She was on the TJ's float and she works at our local shop, and she's genuinely awesome but would tell us if we were wrong. We're not. 

There you have it. Give it a try. Costs much less than a flight to Lima or heck, even a rice plate at Chicken Latino. We'll still go there though. That stuff is goooooooooooood. Double fours.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Jalapeño Sauce: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being HOTTT, how is the flame level?

  2. with all that canola oil, it's basically just a hot mayonnaise?

    1. Too bad there's so much oil - 90 calories for 2 T is a lot for a condiment (to me - others not counting will not care), but it's not as much as regular mayo.

    2. Much healthier and tastier than mayo. Sure, a significant calorie intake but I have been using this extensively and liberally during my diet (somewhat a keto but medically changed a bit). I am down 40 pounds and counting. This keeps eating enjoyable and helps me stick to the plan. The calories (on my diet) is not as important as what kind of calories you take in.

  3. This stuff is the BOMB as a salad dressing. Because it has a lot of oil, I've been mixing it with some white balsamic vinegar to thin it a bit. It adds a little sweetness, but the jalapeno kick still comes through.

  4. This is awesome and everyone I know who likes spicy food and tried to ranges from liking it to being absolutely addicted... most closer to the addicted. I have like 12 different hot sauces in my cabinet and now they are all ignored. Try it on almost anything and it works... any Mexican food is automatic, eggs, omelets, chicken, beef, pprk (I have heard fish but I don't like fish so I can't say), wraps, sandwiches... anything I use to use hot sauce, salsa, condiments, etc on. A cashier at TJ said he mixed it with some of the BBQ sauce their and made his new favorite dipping sauce for chicken tenders. Can't beat it.

  5. They had a sample of shredded pork w rice and jalapeno at the store in albany NY... Any way to get recipe

  6. I wish it were a little thicker. I tried putting it on my sandwich and it turned out to be like pouring salad dressing on bread- spillage all over the sides.

  7. This is my favorite hot sauce. As one of the reviewers mentioned, you can use it on almost everything. I’ve used it for a dressing, in soup, on my avocado toast.... just all sorts of stuff. I usually pick up 2 bottles each tome I go to Trader Joe’s.

  8. I’m bummed about the canola. I avoid it. I would have tried it were it Avocado oil or coconut oil. I do like their peanut oil in the refrigerated case. I use it as salad dressing.


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