Varieties of Jardine’s Salsa
Jardine Foods, established in 1979, was one of the half-dozen or so salsa pioneers to follow the lead of Dave Pace—in fact, the company named one of its first products, Texacante Salsa, in honor of Pace’s Picante Sauce. A producer of premium Southwestern foods, Jardine’s makes salsas for a variety of well-known brands and private labels in addition to an extensive line under their own name. Their delicious and varied salsas caught our eye at industry food shows. The recipe development is impressive—each of the 23 salsas and dips has a true raison d’etre. The line stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of quality, breadth and depth. While we have other favorite salsas, no other collection offers so many exquisitely delicious choices. Thus, while most Americans can run to the nearest store and buy a decent jar of salsa, D.L. Jardine’s Special Edition Salsas are that much more special, and worth seeking out. Like any “best of the best” food, the superiority is apparent from the first bite.
Red salsas are more American than Mexican. While
northern Mexican regions make tomato-based
salsas, much of the country serves salsa verde, a
green salsa that focuses on the flavor of the chile,
plus tomatillos and spices.
There are 23 salsas in the D. L. Jardine’s line—enough flavors to keep anyone in salsa exploration mode for quite some time. The company keeps on top of flavor trends and comes out with new recipes regularly—most recently, Pomegranate Salsa, which isn’t even in the latest catalog or on the website yet (just call). Pineapple Chipotle was the prior addition. The newer recipes show the fusion of global ingredients—pomegranates from the Middle East, mangos from India, peaches from China, artichokes and olives from the Mediterranean, pineapples from the Amazon rainforest. (See an extensive list of global salsa recipe ideas below.)
Each salsa variety has its own mouthfeel that is influenced by the ingredients, texture and heat of the particular chile(s). Almost all of Jardine’s salsas are medium heat; two are hot and two are mild. Most of the line is salsa roja, red salsa.
A note on the jars warns that the salsa must be refrigerated after opening for safekeeping. How long can an open jar last? It could be two to three weeks or longer, depending on how long the salsa was sitting out before it was refrigerated.
- Cilantro Green Olive 
- Cilantro Lime 
- Cowpoke Artichoke
- Frijole Chipotle
- Habañero 
- Olé Chipotle
- Roasted Garlic
- Roasted Tomatillo
- Salsa Bobos
- Salsa Verde
- Cowboy Cherry
- Cranberry Orange
- Mango Mariachi
- Pineapple Chipotle
- Raspberry Chardonnay 
- Raspberry Chipotle
- Queso Caliente 
- Queso Loco
 XXX Hot
All other sauces are Medium
The best sellers in the line are Peach Salsa, Salsa Bobos and Queso Loco. We tasted a dozen salsas, including the top three. Our notes follow, and we’ve thrown in a few extra notes from a prior sampling. Our own top three would have to include Salsa Bobos, Pineapple Chipotle and Cowpoke Artichoke or Frijole Chipotle. But we wouldn’t want to leave behind Pomegranate or Raspberry Chipotle, now that we’ve worked them into recipes; and we plan to serve Cranberry Orange at Thanksgiving. But, at $6.25 per 16-ounce bottle, there’s no need to make trade-offs.
Go To Page 4: Jardine’s Hearty Salsas
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