The Lady’s friend, Jim Lowes of Say Cheese Magazine, introduced his friend, Kelly Golden, owner and entrepreneur extraordinaire of Hotcha Salsa, a salsa line currently available in Southern California through Ralphs and other fine retailers. The Lady expressed a need for more variety at the salsa bar she maintains at the cheese kiosk and ta da… along comes Hotcha. Many thanks to Jim.
In the spirit of total disclosure, something The Lady thinks those rat ass bastards in D.C. might try at least once (her feelings about the entire 535 members of the US Congress and not necessarily those of your favorite Feline Foodie), The Lady asked that I make it known that Kelly sent her samples to taste and only if she and her co-workers liked them recommend them to her corporate jefe. No pro quid pro was involved.
And because this is a cheese blog and not a salsa blog, a certain amount of negotiations (less lag time between my wanting The Lady to get up at 2am to feed me and the actual time she hauls her rear out of the bed to complete my request…er…demand; extra petting; no more hydrogen peroxide in my ear – although it does feel better; and other points to be added at a later date as I think of them) took place between The Lady and me before I acquiesced and agreed that a review was in order.
On top of that, The Lady refused to let me sample the salsas, including the shrimp one, “fearing” my tummy might be too delicate for the heat from the spices… yeah right, like I don’t get that if I am not in the equation, there is more for her, The Man, The Chef and The Pink Barron (don’t ask; I’m not telling)… but I digress…
Kelly and the fine folks at Hotcha currently market a line of six salsas available in various degrees of “heat”: mild, medium and hot. According to The Man, “Mild” is not for the faint of heart; according to The Lady, whose stomach is lined with lead, “Mild” is correct. Individuals will have to make their own call.
The three salsas in the “No Chunk” line are exactly that: no chunks; smooth in texture with several levels of flavor and aftertaste. The Hotcha trademark line is “Don’t let your Chips go Naked” and with these salsas there is no fear of that happening. Your chip is nicely coated and you’ll love the combinations from “Mild”, to “Medium” and for the truly brave “Hot”. The herbs and spices are balanced well with the tomatoes, garlic and onions to deliver an authentic salsa reminiscent of the ones made at home “back in the day”. It’s true… your chips will never go naked again.
The Restaurant Style is chunky and this one was also a hit during the first round of tastings. Lots of tomato chunks, lots of onion, garlic and a balanced blend of jalapenos, herbs and spices. In addition, this salsa would be great on top of grilled chicken, fish or your favorite taco.
Next up was the latest addition to the Hotcha line: Flame Roasted Blackened Salsa. If you are looking for a smokey finish to your salsa, well, you’re going to love this one. It has fire roasted tomatoes, fire roasted jalapeno peppers, chipotle peppers, onion, garlic and a terrific blend of herbs and spices to deliver a salsa punch that will leave you begging for more. You might try this one as a marinade to make your favorite ceviche. Hotcha has gotcha another winner.
The last one in the first tasting was the Cucumber Jalapeno Salsa. This one was also a crowd pleaser. The ingredients are chucky tomatoes and chopped whole cucumbers with jalapeno and spices. It reminded everyone of a summer Gazpacho.
The Lady, The Man, The Chef and The Pink Barron (don’t ask; maybe I’ll tell later) agreed that any of these would be a great addition to the salsa bar and your dining room table.
A second review follows of the not-as-yet released Shrimp Salsa from Hotcha; so good it deserves its own review…
FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.