Posted July 21, 2013 by Brian Sellers in Bloggers

Smoked Jalapeno Salsa, by Pain is Good

Smoked Jalapeno Salsa, by Pain is GoodI’m no stranger to the brand Pain is Good. Way back before I started working for EAT MORE HEAT!, my burgeoning hot sauce collection had a number of bottles of sauces from the company. This is one of those brands that has a very versatile lineup, and I found myself picking up a new one every time I could. However, for some reason I have never tried that salsas. That all changes tonight. My weekly grocery shopping trip took me right past three jars of Pain is Good salsa, so I’m going to start my Salsa Sunday journey through their products with the Smoked Jalapeno variety, a product billed as an attempt to marry the Cajun stylings of the Louisiana Bayou to salsa.


Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Onion, Chipotle Puree (chipotle, water, salt, citric acid), Green Peppers, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt, Roasted Garlic, Natural Smoke Flavor, Jalapeno Peppers, Chipotle Powder, Spices, Garlic, Calcium Chloride, Garlic Powder, Water, Onion Powder, Citric Acid, Vinegar

This list does not hide the fact that this is a salsa designed to sit on store shelves, not to be made and sold in small batches by an independent establishment. Preservatives aside, this is a good, fairly standard list of salsa ingredients. It’s interesting that they refer to this as smoked jalapeno, not chipotle, but whatever.


This is a very chunky salsa, which means my wife might be a little disappointed, since she was hoping to get a not-so-chunky product. But hey, I’m the one writing the review here. Onions, peppers, seeds, and tomatoes are all visible in the sea of red, making this one look quite appetizing.

Smell and Taste:

Whoooaaa (cue Keanu Reaves). This is easily one of the most aromatic salsas I have found, and I mean that in a good way. The smokey scent here actually makes this smell a lot like a barbecue sauce, which I don’t think I have ever actually encountered in a salsa before. That’s pretty cool. A product with a smell that wonderful should have an equally strong flavor, right? Well, almost. Although the salsa flavor is robust and balanced, it is more subdued than I would have imagined based on the smell alone.




Pain is Good says this salsa rests squarely at the Medium range of their heat scale, but I’m inclined to disagree. When it comes to salsa, I see a Medium as being something that the average person can eat without too much trouble. And while this salsa is no trouble for me at all, I think it has the kick to warrant a Mean rating. It is significantly hotter than the average restaurant salsa, and has enough of a burn to melt the faces of the unprepared. It is also pretty darn tasty. The more I eat of it, the more I like it. That’s dangerous, because that means I’ll go through the entire jar before I even notice. Because of that addition factor, I have to give this a Notable. I’m in love here.

Final Word:

If you’re a regular reader of Salsa Sunday, or even if this is your first time checking out this column, feel free to leave a comment with any salsa suggestions you would like to see reviewed. No, I won’t take a shipment of your homemade stuff, but if there’s anything that you’re particularly fond of that you want to see featured here, let me know, and I’ll try to work it in!

Brian Sellers