Have you tried Uncle Frank’s Salsa yet? Probably not, but only because it’s a fairly new product. Oh how I love being an early adopter of great new products, especially delicious specialty foods!
Luckily for me, I’m in the know about Uncle Frank’s because I’m old friends with Valerie Penso-Cuculich, the woman behind the company Cuculich Foods. It kind of surprised me to hear she and her husband were launching this company, because Valerie also owns a successful LA-based casting business which keeps her pretty busy. But, I’m so glad they did! There was a definite gap in the market for a different kind of jarred salsa.
Most of the generic jarred salsas on the market are cooked down too much and become gloppy tomato and vegetables that lean toward being too sweet, in my opinion.
Personally, I tend to like freshly made salsas for this very reason. But I buy 1-2 jars of salsa every week because my husband prefers them to be cooked a bit. He loves to make the only thing he knows how to make – a cheese quesadilla with a TON of salsa. Seriously, he’ll eat half a jar with one quesadilla.
While he’s not a fan of the fresh types you get in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, I will occasionally make a roasted salsa at home. But, as I mentioned above, he eats half a jar at a time, so trying to make enough to keep him happy would be a part-time job.
So, yes, Uncle Frank’s Salsa is a perfect compromise for us. It’s jarred and cooked lightly, but it has a very refined taste profile which appeals to me. You can actually taste the ingredients, rather than those salsas that just give a whole lot of tomato paste flavor.
Ok – time for my review.
Uncle Frank’s Salsa
The first version I tasted was the Original version, and my husband and I noticed right away it had a pretty big kick of spice, but with a hint of smoky sweetness on the finish that balanced out the heat. We struggled to identify a certain flavor we eventually realized was Oregano. I thought Oregano was a bit unusual, even though it’s used to make salsas in Mexico all the time. It’s just rare to find one jarred that tastes so fresh and lively.
I tried three out of the four flavors and below are my thoughts.
- Uncle Frank’s Original – this one is by far my favorite. I love the flavors and spices – and that I can really taste the spicy peppers and the smoky sweetness on the finish. It really is addictive. My husband and I ate the entire jar standing at our kitchen island!
- Uncle Frank’s Mango – this was really good, and it tastes a lot like the Original, but with a bit more sweet on the finish.
- Uncle Frank’s Habanero – this one tastes just like the Original as well, but with a lot more heat. This one sat in the fridge for a week because we could only eat a little at a time. I guess we’re not as accustomed to spicy things as I thought we were.
I haven’t tasted the Key Lime flavor yet. But for now, the Original is definitely my favorite!
Unfortunately, I live in Atlanta, and while Uncle Frank’s is hitting the better food markets on the West Coast and in the Northeast, we don’t have a location where we can buy it yet. So for now, I’ll keep ordering online.