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Welcome to Fancy Food & Culinary Products' blog, your place to read reviews of the great fancy and gourmet products we find in the marketplace.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Editor's Choice: Mexicali Blues

 In the effort of full editorial disclosure, there was one major reason I wanted to review the samples of Mexicali Blues salsas that arrived in our office last week. I'm not a particular salsa aficionado, nor am I keen on eating foods so hot my taste buds never forgive me. But the restaurant that bottles its salsas of the same name is a local institution... from my home town. Mexicali Blues is a mom-and-pop type of establishment in the heart of Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. I remember it fondly from family get-togethers and teenage birthday parties made special by off-key renditions of "Feliz Cumpleanos a Ti" and heaping mounds of fried ice cream. And while it's been years since I've stepped into the restaurant for a plate of enchiladas or an icy margarita, I was happy to have a little local flavor at arm's length in our staff fridge.

Paired with my favorite brand of tortilla chips — La Preferida, made locally here in Chicago —the original Mexicali Blues salsa made a perfect accompaniment. While I prefer a more chunky, vegetable-studded salsa, the smooth consistency was a refreshing change. It took me a full minute to work up the courage to dip a chip into the Mexicali Blues XXX salsa, and as it turns out, I was rightfully fearful. The XXX salsa isn't for spice wimps like me.

It's always a good sign when local establishments start manufacturing their own product for wholesale. Maybe I'll make a special trip to visit the Mexicali Blues salsas at the restaurant during my Thanksgiving visit back home.