Friday, January 08, 2010

The Green Goop On My Porch, Or, Why I Should Stick to Reviewing Books

Books have so many admirable qualities, not the least of which is that they're virtually indestructible. We all know they don't stand a chance against a bathtub, a swimming pool or a 5-year-old, but I'm talking about the mail. In a knock-down-drag-out fight between a book and good ole USPS, I'd put my money on the book.

Salsa is not like a book. I found this out the hard way.

I rarely use this blog to review anything other than books, but occasionally, an offer comes along that I can't refuse. MomCentral, for which I often do reviews, was offering samples of Rosarita's new line of salsas. I like salsa. The hubs likes salsa. It paid 20 bucks. Clearly, a win-win situation.

Then came Christmas Eve. The time: 5:55. Our annual family party started at 6 and I still had to cover the 15 miles to my in-laws' house. I had just plopped my 13-month-old into the bathroom sink for "hair time" when the doorbell rang. Sculpting my baby's curls into Rudy Huxtable-perfect puffs requires the kind of coordination and concentration rarely found outside a hospital operating room. I wasn't about to interrupt such a delicate procedure to answer the door. When we finally reached puffy perfection - complete with red and white striped bows - I remembered to check outside my front door. I expected fudge. Or homemade candy. A white FedEx box lay on my doormat. Nothing's better than an unexpected present, right? So, I reached down to grab it ... and the box fell apart in my hands. Blobs of gooey green stuff glopped out of the ruined box onto my porch, the doormat and my jeans. Shards of glass bit into my hand. From the smell of the goopy mess, I knew my salsa had arrived.

Cursing Rosarita, FedEx and the God of Mexican Condiments, I dumped everything into a garbage bag, wiped up the green stains with a paper towel and went on my not-very-merry way. I actually grumbled - out loud - "This is what I get for reviewing something other than books."

I got over the salsa disaster - eventually. I haven't quite forgiven FedEx yet, though. I mean, the driver transferred a soggy, dripping box from the back of his truck to my doorstep. On Christmas Eve! The nice people at MomCentral and Rosarita did send me three new jars of salsa, packaged neatly in a sturdy cardboard box. And, even though I had resolved never to look at the stuff ever again, I tested it anyway. What can I say? It's hard to hold a grudge at Christmastime.

So, Rosarita sent me three kinds of salsa - Salsa Mexicana (mild), Salsa Verde (medium) and Salsa Taquera (hot). I'm not big on spices, so I figured the first type would be the one for me. Um, no. The "mild" was hot enough to bring tears to my eyes. A lick of medium had me racing for my water glass, and the hot ... well, it was the least spicy of them all. In fact, it's the variety I ended up liking the most. Weird.

I like salsa, but I'm no connoisseur. My husband, on the other hand, is fairly choosy. Here's what he had to say:

Salsa Mexicana - Too onion-y, and I usually like onions. The taste just isn't that good.

Salsa Verde - Good stuff!

Salsa Taquera - It's more like hot sauce than salsa. The heat goes to a whole different level, like to my core. I think my bald spot is sweating.

To recap: Neither one of us was impressed with the Salsa Mexicana. I thought it was way too spicy for a "mild" salsa. The hubster didn't like the taste. The Salsa Verde burned my taste buds off, but my husband liked it a lot. Surprisingly, I liked the Taquera. It was the least spicy and the most flavorful. The hubs liked it as well.

I like Rosarita (it's the only brand of refried beans I buy), but its salsa can't touch our favorite - Safeway Select Southwestern Syle Salsa (mild). If you're feeling adventurous, pick up some Rosarita salsa for your next fiesta. It's only available in a handful of cities - Phoenix, L.A. Dallas and Denver - and only at select Wal-Mart and grocery stores. Having it delivered via FedEx is not advised.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Rosarita and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

And since we're talking Mexicana, I should mention that I'm reading an interesting new book from Razorbill - it's called The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped. Since I don't speak Mexican Gangsta Girl, I only understand about 1/4 of the dialogue, but it's turning into an interesting book. Look for a review soon.

Buenos Noches, amigos.

3 comments:

  1. We want pics of the curls! :)

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  2. I review for Mom Central too and a bunch of other places with my other blog but thank goodness nothing has been too broken or anything although I'm probably jinxing myself now.

    I don't like Salsa, partly because I find things that are supposed to be Mild to be spicy. That's weird that it was so off like that.

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