Pace Salsa – What Is The Difference Between Salsa And Picante Sauce?

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 Salsa also known as Pace Picante Sauce. Remember the stuff that came in huge plastic jugs for Nacho Thursday in elementary school? Yeah, that’s the stuff, baby.

Pace Picante Medium Salsa on shelf
Pace Picante Sauce Is The Traditional Cheap Salsa Around Here. How Does Kroger Compare?

Kroger Salsa & Pace Salsa Review

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 (Click here to learn more about store brand products).

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: What Is The Difference Between Salsa And Picante Sauce?

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 Brand Salsa Cheaper Than Pace Salsa?

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.

Kroger Traditional Salsa Bottle
Kroger Medium Traditional Salsa: Basically The Same!

Pace Picante Sauce Ingredients

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! Or simply serve with something like Walmart’s excellent off brand chips and you’ll be able to brag about your savings.

Picante Vs Salsa

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!

Buy Pace Salsa

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6 thoughts on “Pace Salsa – What Is The Difference Between Salsa And Picante Sauce?

  • This article made me laugh. Obviously, Pace Picante is salsa!

    • Hi Clan – Haha, yes this may seem obvious. But for some reason there was a bunch of confusion about it online.

  • Chip Tovey

    Very disappointed that the Pace restaurant style salsa tastes dramatically different from the picante sauce I normally buy. I accidentally grabbed the wrong one while in a hurry, and I’ve ruined an entire plate eggs. NASTY stuff, just nasty.

    • Hi Chip – I appreciate you sharing your experience. That is a bummer about the ruined plated of eggs.


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