Monday, May 5, 2008

Condiment of the Week: Goya Salsita Chipotle Chile

While Goya products tend to get overlooked at supermarkets, they actually provide some of the better Latin and Spanish pre-made and canned goods on the market. One of my favorites are their line of salsita's that include chipotle, ancho, jalepeno and habanero While all of them are quite good, my favorite is the chipotle which has that perfect combo of spicy and smokey that many hot sauces try to create, but rarely succeed. Tabasco, Jim Beam, and others that I've tried have either failed to get the right consistency, focused too much on the smoke, or too much on the heat, forgetting that they need to all work as one. The Goya Chipotle pours out of the bottle well, but does not come off as watered down, and even seemingly has texture to it from the peppers. When you first taste the hot sauce the smoke engulfs your mouth and can overpower weaker flavors very easily. Ideally, because of this type of taste, the sauce should be used sparingly as an accent to foods and dishes that pair well with smokey flavor. Add to much of this sauce, and whatever your eating will taste like it was in the smoke house a day too long. After the smoke flavor goes away the heat suddenly appears in the back of your throat and will catch you completely by surprise. It's very easy to start eating something with the Goya Chipotle and think it isn't hot at all, and then suddenly the heat will catch up with you and make you turn bright red. While not as spicy as habanero or scotch bonnet, the sauce is still jalapeno based, and will get you if you don't watch out. Maybe it's the wooden top, but there is something that I love about the flavors that make up the Goya sauces. It may still be a huge corporate brand, but it's about as authentic of a taste as your going to find in your supermarket "spanish" section.

Favorite Use: A few drops over rice and beans or on top of a taco
Most Unusual Use: Mix with honey mustard for a spicy, sweet and smoky dipping sauce

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