Salsa is the greatest thing since ketchup. In my opinion, it is better than ketchup and can go on everything. That is why there are so many different variations of it. Some are red and some are green. Some are made with a lot of garlic and some are made with a lot of chipotle ingredients. There is one thing that is always found in salsa and that is the heat.
Salsa isn't salsa without heat. Even the mild stuff needs to have some level of heat to it. Salsa has many great health benefits too. It has a lot of vitamin A and vitamin C which is always needed in today's diet. Salsa also has Capsaicin the chemical responsible for the heat. There was a study at the New York University Langone Medical Center that reported capsaicin can help relieve indigestion and stomach pain. Which is crazy because the heat usually causes my stomach to warm up. It was also reported that it might protect those at risk of developing ulcers as a side effect of medication. Being the relatively healthy person who doesn't take medication, I won't need those benefits, but I will eat it anyways. Which is why I jumped to take on the challenge of eating salsa that was hand crafted by the famous @haitch.
On a recent glorious day, I noticed @haitch post something while checking out what was posted since I logged. I was curious when I saw the words "Attn Chile-Heads" on his post. Yet, when I saw it was from Haitch, it grabbed my full attention and had to read what was said.
Haitch created a post that he was selling salsa. As soon as I saw the pictures my mouth started to salivate. I knew I was hooked and any further reading was unnecessary. So, when I read the ingredients and haitch's story I was ready to buy and eat it.
The ingredients also intrigued me. I've never had pineapple in my salsa and I don't think I've ever had smoked apple and Hickory. I'm always up to try new things. Which is why during my younger days, I got into trouble a lot. The various peppers also caught my eye. Hungarian Black? Hot Chile Lantern? Whaaa?? Whatever, I'll eat it. :)
After discussing with Haitch on the shipping details I waited for a couple of days for my treats to come in the mail. I began to wonder what kind of heat they really have. Haitch told me of the heat and his ingredients solidified his warning. Yet, I've had a lot of other people warn me of hot salsa and it never lives up to their warning. Yet, the words from a fellow chili head gave me confidence the salsa will live up to its reputation.
The chili came in two Ball wide mouth jars. These jars that were carefully wrapped in packaging material that kept them safe during the transport. The packaging was done well enough that I could have dropped the boxes and the glass jars would not have broken after the fall.
When the boxes arrived I opened one of them in front of my stepdaughter who works at the office. She kept asking me "why" and I didn't have an answer. Chili heads are in their own world and describing to someone why we eat hot salsa is not worth it.
To my luck, I opened the one that had a bright red label on it with black wording and a black ominous symbol. The label read "BIOHAZARD" and had the symbol the contents were hazardous to my health. I cracked open the lids and took a quick smell to see if my nose would appreciate it. It didn't and instead I began to cough. My step daughter laughed at me and said I was crazy to try it. She said, "does mom know about this"? In the back of mind, I was thinking I didn't explain the full story to her and how hot is was. "Yeah she knows," I said closing up the jar and putting it back in the box. She gave me that yea bullshit look but smiled and said "well good luck." She knows I like salsa so she wasn't too concerned.
After I placed the boxes in the car I headed back to the house like a thief that scored a prize. I was excited to try this crazy salsa. As I drove home, I kept thinking that maybe I should wait for the right time to eat it. All those peppers in the ingredients started to feel heavy on my mind. "What was I thinking and what will my wife think?" "Why did I spend 25K in Burst for two jars of pain"? "Am I going to die?" These thoughts flowed in and out of my mind as I drove on the hot concrete freeway unsure if I was driving to a day of pain.
When arriving home. I opened the other package of salsa and saw it was the mild one. In a weird way, I was happy to see it. It was like seeing a very trustworthy friend. I also noticed both jars felt warm from the the hot truck that brought it to me. Eating warm salsa sucks. I like my salsa cold and decided to place them in the fridge to cool down. Plus it was a cheat day and my wife and I treat ourselves to a dinner not made at the house. I also needed some tortilla chips and some milk from the store.
The next day (today) I woke up with the determination of eating salsa. I bought the milk and tortillas chips and was mentally ready to eat and experience some pain in my mouth. After taking my wife's car to get fixed, I came home and got all the stuff I will need to get through this. I also purchased paper plates because I didn't want the pepper flavor to get all over the dishes just in case. I'm the main one in the house that enjoys hot salsa. My wife enjoys hot salsa but not as much as I do.
I placed a small amount of each salsa in their own bowls and inspected the contents. The salsa looked delicious with different hues of red and orange. I could also see specks of green cilantro and yellow seeds. I also could smell the hickory and garlic. At this point, I was ready to try it. I moved from the counter and placed the two bowls in front of me on the kitchen table and bowl of chips was next to the two bowls.
Like a fire extinguisher, I also placed a decent amount of milk within range so I can quickly grab it in case an uncontrollable fire developed in my mouth. With that said, I decide to try the mild first and work my way up.
I honestly was a little-scared pouring the "mild" salsa onto the chip. Haitch is a fellow chili head and our type of mild tends to be hot for others. So placing the chip with the salsa in my mouth was a leap of faith. I started to eat it hoping nothing bad happens.
The salsa was pleasant and the flavors started to consume my mouth. I could taste the hickory and all the other flavors. The heat was there but wasn't incredibly hot. I can tell Haitch likes his hickory as I ate another chip with salsa. Overall, the mild version was great and I think it will go well with some bbq ribs or chicken. Now onto the pain.
The second time I opened the jar labeled BIOHAZARD I didn't smell it. I knew this was going to hurt but was slightly excited. I think you have to be a little sadistic to eat very hot salsa. I decided to tackle this salsa with a little salsa on the chip. The salsa was good and very flavorful. As I was eating it, a sharp but tolerable pain developed on the right side of my mouth. Was this the heat from the peppers saying hello? I decided to give another go at the salsa.
The second chip with salsa and a little more courage was used during the second try. I began to experience, for the first time the full force of the flavor and heat of the peppers. Which honestly wasn't that bad and was very pleasant. The heat from the salsa was a good heat. At this point, my fear of the salsa went away and I was ready to courageously scoop a large amount of the salsa and shove it into my mouth.
When I was a young little guy, I always got into trouble and have the scars to prove it. Every major part of my body has a scar of old stitches and or cuts. So dangerous conditions were never a concern for me. Yet, now in my older days, I tend to be cautious because my body doesn't respond well to damage. Now, I don't know if it was the younger side of me or the older forgetful side of me who decided to eat a large amount of the salsa. But as I type this post my mouth and left ear hurts a little.
Eating the third and biggest scoop of salsa probably wasn't the best decision I made today. As I began to eat the combo, a wave of what felt like wasps began to sting my mouth. I actually start coughing which took me by surprise. My gums in my mouth also began to feel pain. Damn this was hot salsa but it wasn't as bad as I made it out in my head. Maybe I overhyped it in my head too much. I thought it would be like spraying pepper spray in my mouth but that never happened.
With the help of the milk the heat wore off and I was happy with the overall taste. It was my first time eating salsa with hickory so it was a new taste for me. Living near the border we tend to get a lot of chipotle or cilantro flavors. I will definitely be using these in my dishes. If you like salsa, I recommend you buying a jar or two from Haitch.