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The Smoking Tongue

November 15, 2005

Day 120: Valentina Salsa Picante

This is a big ass bottle. 12.5 ounces of picante flavored hot sauce. I could have picked up a different sized bottle, but... I didn't think I could finish a 34 ounces bottle.

Yep, this is as small as it gets.

With a bottle this hefty, a special day had to be chosen. At work, we had our Thanksgiving pot luck today. They'd probably have it sooner to Thanksgiving, but I think the higher up mucky mucks are probably taking 7 days off around Thanksgiving. Better have it early while they're still here.

Last year when we had it, I sat by two skinny guys with voracious appetites. They went back 7 times for food. It was an amazing thing to watch. I figured if I sat next to them this year, their gluttony would rub off me and I'd have enough food to make it through this bottle.

While it was a good plan, I did run into one problem right away. When you open the top part of the cap, there is a nub inside blocking the hole. It's plastic and you're suppose to push it in, or pull it out, or some damn thing I couldn't figure out. My food was getting cold. The main cap is also glued onto the bottle. There's only one way in our out.

In the end, I finally pushed the knob all the way in. How I wish I had a needle nose pliers to pull it out. Because now the nub floated in the sauce and would always block the hole when I tried to pour sauce out. It took a hell of a lot of shaking to get any sauce out. Eventually, I ate enough of the sauce, that it was able to float into a different position instead of at the very top, and it started to pour out just fine.

The flavor of this sauce is pretty good, despite the heavy picante flavor. And let me tell you, if you like this sauce, you're in for a real treat. It's dirt cheap, easy to find, and comes in almost gallon size containers.

Although I could think of better sauces to use, this picante sauce went well with turkey, stuffing, ham, corn chowder, more stuffing, and more turkey.

For supper my girl friend brought home left over Chinese. I poured a ton of this stuff over the rice, and it soaked in all the way. Surprisingly, it still tasted great.

I never realized before that the label was all in Spanish. That explains the cheaply printed sticker on the back that lists all the ingredients, calories, etc, in English.

Bottoms Up!
This was so good, I had to have 2 shots! Actually, I just had so much left after supper, that the only way to finish it off was to drink it straight.

After a long day of eating too much, I just feel like laying down on the couch, pretend to watch TV, and fall asleep.


Valentina makes an extra hot version. Sadly, its flavor isn't very good, and the discoloration at the top is pretty bad. I do have it sitting in the basement for a rainy day, but I'm in no rush to do a whole 12.5 ounces.

Tomorrow: Torchbearer #4 Tingly Sauce

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12 Comments:

  • I love a good hot sauce. However, this one has got to be my least favorite. I am about to throw it in the trash. It comes back up like acid reflux except like burning acid. Sorry, I just can't keep this one down.

    By Blogger duwbryd, at 11:13 PM, December 23, 2005  

  • This is actually my FAVORITE hot sauce. The first time i had this was at a rotisserie chicken place in Mexico City. I had fresh chicken, potato chips, onion , and hot tortillas, all slathered with this amazing sauce. Its hot, but so good that the heat doesn't matter to me. BTW, the 34 Oz bottle size is PERFECT for me!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:42 PM, February 28, 2006  

  • My personal favorite is Tapatio. It has good flavor and ranks among the medium hot flavors which are easy to get along with.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:08 AM, April 01, 2006  

  • I like eating Lay's brand potato chips and using this sauce as a dip, or just pouring a bit into the bag.

    By Anonymous Adrian, at 10:10 PM, January 02, 2007  

  • I am an expatriate from the US living in Guadalajara, the home of Salsa Tamazula, the makers of Valentina. It is the best. I usually will refuse any of the other inferior brands when out at the many taco stands in our fair city. Luckily, it's very popular here and most places tend to use it.

    Imagine my horror when I went to Guanajuato and the prevalent brand there was some crap in a white plastic bottle with a monochromatic label that made it look like a container of hospital disinfectant!

    I don't know if the packaging shipped to countries outside Mexico is different, or if you just got the old kind of bottle. I remember the plastic-nub bottle in the US, but here in Mexico, it's a little plastic strip that you peel out of the middle of the cap to access the firey goodness. The nub was a pain in the kiester. The problem with the strip though is that breaks off halfway sometimes. Oh well. Anything this good is worth the effort.

    Adrian sounds like a real Mexican. The first time I saw people buying bags of potato chips and dumping Valentina in the bag here (and everyone does it down here), I thought it was the most disgusting thing I'd ever seen. Then I ate some that way. I became addicted. I'm eating some that way right now, in fact.

    Down here, you buy bags of casera (home-made) potato chips, and they always come with a little packet ("sobre") of salsa, like you find mustard or ketchup in other places. It's supposed to be used for just what Adrian describes: dumping it in the bag.

    I figured that if people making these chips at home could get those little packets, so could I. It took some searching, but I finally found a box of them (900 count!) at the suppliers' market. Now I can pack along a few with my tacos for lunch, carry an emergency one around for those cases when the salsa included with the chips isn't Valentina, and when I just need a quick fix, I can bite one open and suck it down plain.

    By Blogger crispy, at 12:12 PM, July 03, 2007  

  • This is great! I grew up in MC DF and yeah pouring some Valentina in any kind of chips is regular diet.
    Enjoy this not so common Mexican delicasi.
    Tox

    By Blogger Rick, at 8:39 AM, July 01, 2009  

  • Picked up a bottle at the dollar store and wasn't expecting much. Man, was I wrong! This stuff is fantastic! I put it on eggs, tacos, pork chops, etc. My favorite is to use it as a dipping sauce for Chicken McNuggets. makes the damn things edible again since they went all "white meat" crazy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:59 PM, June 23, 2010  

  • I love the hot sauces, I always eat my food with this kind of hot sauce, because I love the flavor,"valentina salsa picante" is a good example!
    I need some recipe about it!!!

    By Anonymous Viagra Online, at 5:52 AM, February 10, 2011  

  • I just went to this blog because I want to know what is the picture on the Valentina bottle. Is it a picture of the borders of a city or state in Mexico? BTW I love this sauce. Have not tried the extra hot. Just the regular bottle. Bought at my local grocery store chain. Valu Plus. They cater to the latino consumer. Me and my son have different tastes in hot sauce. He prefers Tapatio. That just has heat. Valentina has flavor. I had never tried it before but it was way cheaper than the Tapatio and it comes in that huge bottle. Still have more than half. Because we had switched to El Pato. I went back to the Valentina after the El Pato ran out, and remembered how much I liked it. So if anyone knows please tell me what is that picture of on the Valentina bottle? Thanks -Marlo-

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:44 PM, February 16, 2011  

  • The picture on the label is the state of Jalisco. Also, "picante flavored hot sauce"? Picante isn't a flavor, it just means spicy. Or hot. "Salsa picante" = "Hot sauce"

    By Blogger Phillip, at 3:08 PM, November 20, 2011  

  • Nice! I only recently checked out your blog, but have enjoyed the post and will be back to read more.

    By Anonymous Patty, at 9:14 PM, July 11, 2012  

  • I lived in Guadalajara back in '67. I don't remember Valentina particularly, but it is typical of the salsa picantes in the state of Jalisco.I buy two 34 oz bottles when I go to Walmarts.

    By Blogger George Hughes, at 7:19 PM, May 17, 2013  

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