I’m a Medium type of guy. No, I am not talking about my shirt size. I’m talking about my salsa. I acknowledge and respect that some folks make an art out of ultra-fancy fresh salsas and hot sauces. And other folks are happy with Taco Bell Fire sauce. However I grew up with Pace brand Picante sauce. Remember the stuff that came in huge plastic jugs for Nacho Thursday in elementary school? Yeah, that’s the stuff, baby.
Bottom shelf salsa isn’t exactly the most expensive item on my shopping list. A jar typically costs around $3-4, sometimes less. And it if you buy it in the larger containers, it’s pretty darn cheap. Nonetheless I was delighted when I saw Kroger brand salsa in a similar form factor at my local QFC.
As all Americans know, salsa comes in three flavors: green, yellow, and red. Errr, I mean, mild, medium, and hot. The flavors are denoted by the color of the lid: Green means mild, yellow means medium, and red denotes the spiciest version available. Kroger bravely tossed aside this generations-old standard for a rich orange color on their medium flavor salsa.
First, A Silly Question: Is Pace Picante Sauce, Salsa?
It’s OK, I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.
But it’s actually slightly confusing. Why is it called “Sauce”? Is there a difference between Pace Picante Sauce and, well, Salsa?
According to my sources, Pace Picante Sauce is indeed salsa. If you don’t believe me, check out the ingredients listed under Nutrition Facts and compare them to any salsa. If you still disagree please leave a comment below!
Is Kroger Traditional Salsa Cheaper Than Pace Picante Sauce?
When I purchased the salsa for this review, the Kroger salsa was a full 20 cents cheaper than the name-brand version. This is truly one of those small savings that adds up.
How Does The Flavor Compare?
Please note that salsa is typically available in a few different varieties: Thick & Chunky, Salsa Verde, Pico De Gallo, and more. As a cheap salsa purist, I stick to the traditional non-chunky red style. This is the same stuff your grandfather used to eat — literally.
This salsa is not complex stuff. Tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, vinegar, garlic, salt. I don’t think the food scientists at Kroger had to work very hard to create a near-perfect copy of Pace Picante Sauce. To be quite honest, I cannot taste any difference whatsoever between Pace Picante Sauce Medium and Kroger Traditional Salsa Medium. I’m sure someone out there will disagree (leave a comment below) but I don’t think any of your garden party guests will realize that you bought the cheaper salsa. Just be sure to hide the lid!
In conclusion, buy the orange lid Kroger Medium Traditional Salsa with confidence. It’s basically the same as Pace, and a bit cheaper. As always, keep your eyes open for coupons and discounts — little savings make a big difference!