Posted September 14, 2012 by Brian Sellers in Bloggers

Home Grown Salsa, by Hair of the Dog

A few weeks back, I brought you a review of Hair of the Dog’s Garlic Serrano Hot Sauce. As I mentioned in that review, I discovered Hair of the Dog at Corpus Christi’s Marina Market Days over the summer. I was quite impressed with that particular sauce, especially in how well it made use of the pepper flavors. That is why I’m happy that I had purchased a second product at that time. It may not be National Salsa Month anymore, but I’m not going to let that stop me from reviewing the brand’s Home Grown Salsa. I hope it lives up to the delicious standard set by their sauce!


Fresh Tomato, Peppers, Cilantro, Garlic, Spices

The list here is both unsurprising and ambiguous. The word “peppers” there could be practically anything, and if I hadn’t spoken with the good folks at the Hair of the Dog table, I would not have known (without purchasing it – see below) that this sauce contained habaneros. That could be dangerous for people who don’t pay attention!


The jar has the word “HOT!” on it, but what’s more important than that is the little red sticker on my jar’s lid. That’s the spicy food way of saying “Watch out! This one is hotter than normal!” Actually, this salsa is a good deal thinner than normal, too. Although water isn’t in the ingredients list, this salsa is very liquidy, which may very well be a result of the lack of tomato paste or any other thickening agent. Still, it doesn’t stay on my chips very well.

Smell and Taste:

Even if I hadn’t spoken with the people at the Hair of the Dog booth, it would actually pretty be easy to tell that this jar packs habaneros, at least after opening it. Y’see, it smells almost exactly like the little orange peppers. It is strong, spicy, and fruity, and above all else, fresh. I don’t get much in the way of tomatoes in the smell at all, which is rather unusual for a salsa. The flavor follows a similar direction, sacrificing the standard salsa taste for a huge pepper presence. The end result is something that tastes less like a salsa and more like a habanero-based hot sauce in a jar.




In the name of all that is good and beautiful in the world, this stuff is hot. It’s actually one of the spiciest things I’ve had the pleasure of eating in recent memory. I closed my jar halfway through writing this review, and my tongue is still burning. I’m giving it a Madness, because I can’t remember a commercial salsa that has intimidated me so much. I do think, though, that Hair of the Dog could stand to pack a little more tomato flavor in this jar. I love habaneros, and it’s cool to find a salsa that carries them so well, but it loses just a bit of esteem from me for being a bit too strong with the habs. Still, it’s easily a Nice, and a great salsa to have around when I’m craving something deadly.

Suggested Uses:

You’ll want to be careful with this stuff for two reasons. For one, it’s really hot. The second reason is that it is so thin that it could easily spill everywhere. Seriously – shaking the jar does not help much. In any case, I suggest mixing it in with some Spanish rice for starters. Don’t use too much, but the right amount could easily bring significant heat to the rice while still keeping the integrity of the dish’s flavor. Chicken, tamales, enchiladas, fajitas, and tacos are all good choices. And hey, if you’re like me and you’re wanting to kick your early-morning caffeine habit, consider drinking some of this to wake you up in the morning.

Final Word:

For some reason, this jar of salsa doesn’t follow the same canine-themed rating system as the hot sauce I reviewed recently. Since my last Hair of the Dog review caught the attention of someone from the manufacturer, I’m wondering if any of them can tell me what the official doggy rating is for this sauce. It certainly hits harder than the Garlic Serrano Hot Sauce!

Brian Sellers