Taste Test: Salsa

by in Taste Test, May 30, 2013

salsa
Grab your tortilla chips! I tasted some of the most popular brands of salsa just in time for your summer parties — find out how your favorite brand scored on our list.

The Criteria
Mild versions of jarred salsa were sampled and rated using a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Specific attention was paid to flavor, texture and nutrition info, focusing on calories and sodium.

Green Mountain Gringo
Rating: 5
Cost: $ 0.27 per ounce
Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 90 milligrams sodium
Healthy Eats Take: WOW! This salsa had it all, lots of fresh vegetables, nice spice and a splash of vinegar to give it an edge. The addition of tomatillos and 2 types of chili peppers made a huge difference, making this the freshest tasting salsa of all! Totally worth the higher price.

Newman’s Own
Rating: 4.5
Cost: $ 0.17 per ounce
Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 65 milligrams sodium
Healthy Eats Take: Fresh with lots of ripe tomato flavor. Cilantro and black pepper make this salsa super flavorful, without all the salt.

On The Border
Rating: 4
Cost: $ 0.18 per ounce
Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 140 milligrams sodium
Healthy Eats Take: Despite the fact this salsa was made with way too much cumin, it tasted pretty good. On the other hand, the sodium was on the high side and it was the only brand tested that contained added sugar.

Ortega Original
Rating: 3
Cost: $ 0.18 per ounce
Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 240 milligrams sodium
Healthy Eats Take: Chunky with good spice but tasted way too salty. It was no surprise this was 2nd highest in sodium.

Tostitos Chunky
Rating: 2
Cost: $ 0.16 per ounce
Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 250 milligrams sodium
Healthy Eats Take: This dull-flavored and overly salty salsa wasn’t impressive. Garlic powder over-powered everything and tomato puree was the first ingredient (whole tomatoes would have given it a better texture).

Chi-Chi’s All Natural
Rating: 2
Cost: $ 0.21 per ounce
Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 150 milligrams sodium
Healthy Eats Take:  A thick and pasty texture was about all this salsa had to offer? Definitely one to pass over.

Pace Chunky
Rating: 1
Cost: $ 0.21 per ounce
Nutrition Info (per 2 tablespoons): 10 calories; 230 milligrams sodium
Healthy Eats Take: This salsa certainly looked appetizing but one bite changed my mind.  It featured an overwhelming dose of green pepper, followed by the stale flavor of dehydrated onions. Water was the first ingredient, making this salsa nothing but bleh.

Tell Us: Did we test your favorite brand?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (3)

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  3. C Galivan says:

    Try Trader Joe's Salsa Autentica.

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