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Exquisite spicy jellies go from breakfast to cocktails.




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Caitlin Barrett is a member of The Nibble editorial staff.


October 2005

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Condiments

Cherith Valley Spicy Condiments

Spice Up Your Life With Gourmet Condiments



Condiments haven’t changed much in the last hundred years or so. Ketchup, whether squeezed from a little packet or patiently tapped from a glass bottle, is inevitably unsurprising. It hasn’t strayed far from the version Heinz introduced in the 1870s—although our expectations for more interesting and complex flavors make condiments one of  the most popular categories of specialty foods.

Cherith Valley sounds like a tranquil place—not one where kitchens are tasked to create ever-greater entries in the highly competitive gourmet condiment category. But Cherith Valley Gardens—actually in Fort Worth, Texas—challenges convention and pleases palates by taking ketchup, along with mustard, salsa and jelly, to a fiery new level. A nice fiery. Their spicy twists on classic condiments delightfully transform everything from a hot dog to cream cheese spreads. In fact, Cherith Valley is one of the best lines in the specialty foods business: everything they make is really good, and much of it is truly great.

Superior Standards

  • gourmet ketchupCherith Valley’s Homestyle Ketchup is a refreshing surprise. It’s easy to mistake it for bottle of regular gourmet ketchup, but oh, what joie de zest from chunks of tomatoes, onions, and jalapeño peppers. It can substitute for regular ketchup anywhere: on eggs, hot dogs, burgers, in rib marinades, meatloaf and cocktail sauce—not to mention it made a perfect accompaniment to hot, salty fries.
  • cilantro mustardThe Jalapeño Cilantro Mustard strays even further from tradition. It features (as its name suggests) jalapeños and cilantro, along with onion and garlic powder. These mouth-tingling components make it a great addition to sandwiches and potato salads. Your guests will notice the difference!

Super Salsas

Salsa has become a staple in the U.S., due largely to the popularity of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Far more versatile than ketchup (you can put salsa on a burger but you can’t dip crudités in ketchup), domestic salsa sales overtook all-American ketchup sales three years ago.

  • corn relishCherith Valley’s line of salsas explores all of the avenues of salsa possibilities. Their Hot ’n Spicy Corn Relish salsa is packed with juicy sweet corn, fresh onions, red peppers and spices. It works well as a burger condiment, if it lasts long enough to make it to the plate: we can’t resist eating it right out of the jar with a spoon.
  • garlic salsaOther savory salsas are equally notable: the Green Olive Salsa is perfect for pasta salads, the Black Bean Salsa is great in burritos, tacos and sandwiches, and the Habañero Salsa, Roasted Pepper Salsa, Garlic Salsa and traditional Salsa Piquant are best served in a serving bowl with lots and lots of chips. The four fruit-based salsas pack just as much heat as their savory counterparts. The Peach Salsa, Mango-Lime, Raspberry-Cilantro and Tropical Tapenade all feature jalapeños and make a delicious addition to pork tenderloin, barbecued steaks, and chicken salad.

Cherith Valley even brings spiciness to its line of Hors D’oeuvre Jellieswe suggest you buy one of each and use them instead of the jams and jellies currently on your table.

  • margarita jellyThe Jalapeño and Margarita jellies pack a zesty punch you won’t soon forget: The Jalapeño jelly is definitely for those who like it hot, and the Margarita Jelly stays true to the flavors of a Margarita, down to the tequila. Even when mixed with mascarpone and spread on water crackers (or filled in endive leaves...the modern update to grandma’s cream cheese-stuffed celery), these jellies maintain their distinct flavors. Cream cheese and Jalapeño Jelly on a bagel is a whole new approach to fusion cuisine (and delicious!).
  • mimosa jellyThe other jellies in the line, like Cherry-Brandy Jelly and Peach Amaretto Jelly, are slightly more subdued but still have a kick and are terrific on pancakes, waffles and muffins and roast duck breasts. The softly spicy Mimosa, Sangria and Red Wine Jellies exude sophistication. We impress our guests by using them in Linzer tarts, mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and as a filling in breakfast crepes...but they are wonderful on toast or cocktail crackers. They are so totally unexpected, and so totally good. Most important in our book, they aren’t sugary: If the first flavor in a prepared food is sugar, it simply isn’t good. Here, you taste fruit and spice, and any sugar used (and it’s there) is in the background, where it should be, not calling attention to itself.

Cherith Valley’s unique, fine line of spicy condiments will surely change the way you look at spicy foods—as well as the condiments you use everyday. While we keep traditional ketchup, mustard and jelly around, we are hooked on these special flavors—at breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, snack time, and any occasions in-between.   If variety is the spice of life, then spicy Cherith Valley should be the variety in yours.


Homestyle Ketchup, Jalapeño Cilantro Mustard, Salsas, Hors D’oeuvre Jellies

  • Homestyle Ketchup (spicy)
    14-Ounce Bottle
    $6.95 Average Retail Price
  • Jalapeño Cilantro Mustard
    16-Ounce Jar
    $6.95 Average Retail Price
  • Salsas
    16-Ounce Jar
    $8.99 Average Retail Price
    32-Ounce Jar
    $15.99 Average Retail Price
  • Hors D’oeuvre Jellies (spicy)
    10-Ounce Jar
    $5.99 Average Retail Price

Cherith Valley products are available at 5,000 specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada including Bergdorf Goodman, Biltmore Estate, Cabela’s, Central Market, Dean & DeLuca, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom’s, Pier One, and Williams-Sonoma. An online store locator will be available soon.

Salsa lovers: compare these winners to your
current favorites and see if there’s a new winner.

For more information visit

Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping additionally.