I seem to like things in plastic containers that are sold under Walmart’s “Marketside” deli label. The most obvious example are their soups, which offer up some rich, creamy flavors for the price. I also enjoy…well, I guess that’s really the only example I have to back up that claim. But seeing their salsas inside similar containers made me feel confident in purchasing them.
It looks somewhat like a fresh salsa. It doesn’t quite give the appearance that it was recently assembled in store, but it looks “newer” than jarred ones. Its consistency is a little waterier than I typically like, especially since many homemade ones are thicker. But this comes down to personal preference more than anything. Like virtually everything I write about, really.
The smell is a curious mix of “regular” salsa with some sweetness to it. I would say the “savory” component is far more pronounced than the included fruits, based solely on the aroma. I honestly can’t say it won me over at all. I was expecting a more “punchy”, aggressive scent; the muted reality was rather disappointing. I had some pretty high expectations for this salsa, and the initial impressions made me lower them somewhat.
The taste follows suit. It’s mostly tomato at first, with the sweetness quickly following suit. However, the “sweetness” doesn’t really taste like mango or peaches. It’s just a slight touch of sugary that counterbalances the savory vegetables. This is shocking, because mangoes are second on the ingredients list (and everyone should know by now what I think of mangoes). One would think the taste would be more pronounced, but it’s not. It’s like they used “de-clawed” mangoes. Because of this, it doesn’t taste nearly as “fresh” as it looks.
It all ends with the titular “heat” of the title. While it’s touted as a “medium”, I feel like that’s a rather strong overstatement. I’d consider this much closer to a “mild” than a medium. There’s a slight kick to the tastebuds, but nothing that lingers for long. It’s like a gentle kiss of heat that’s pretty much over before it starts. I did not need a beverage to get rid of it, and I’m a pussy when it comes to hot stuff. This gave me no problems whatsoever.
I’m generally impressed with Marketside’s products, but not this one. There’s not enough of the “sweet” or the “heat” that’s promised on the packaging. The end result is a lackluster combination of flavor profiles that should be interesting, but fall well short. It’s still better than most jarred salsas I’ve tried, so that has to count for something. But not much.
Overall: 4/10. It promises both “sweet” and “heat” and somehow barely delivers on either. The texture is somewhat watery, but otherwise looks pretty “fresh”. The taste is a mix of tomatoes, mangoes, peach and “heat”. This sounds like it should be pretty interesting on paper, but it’s somehow boring in execution. There’s not enough sweetness to appeal to the senses, and the heat is relatively mild (despite its “medium” rating) and dissipates quickly. It’s edible, and better than most jarred salsas I’ve had, for what it’s worth. Which isn’t much.