Big Papi Is Making Salsa Now

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we staged a salsa-off.

Big Papi salsa

Big Papi’s Salsa.

Is there anything Big Papi can’t do?

Forget the three World Series rings, being arguably the best clutch hitter of all time, or even being able to look cool in a Kangol hat. Mr. David Ortiz recently revamped his salsa line (yes, he has one of those) called Big Papi’s Kitchen, and it relaunched a few weeks ago with a “new and improved recipe.” It’s now produced by Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods out of Ward Hill, Mass., and sold exclusively at Stop & Shop stores throughout the New England.

“I’m excited to re-launch my fresh salsa with a new recipe to give my fans in New England a taste of a staple of my home country of the Dominican Republic,” Ortiz said in a statement.

Sometimes athletes take on endorsement deals for products that are incredibly unhealthy or just overall bad. So, we decided to put the salsa to the test. We bought three different kinds and set up a not-so-scientific (see below) blind taste test, asking staffers to write comments and pick their favorite. In competition with Papi was Newman’s Own Medium Chunky and Nature’s Promise Organic Mild Salsa.

Thirteen staffers ate salsa and chips for breakfast. In the end it was Big Papi for the win! In fact, it was a landslide. Shockingly, out of 13 votes, Big Papi’s Kitchen got 11.

Some comments on why Big Papi won:

“This one is the freshest, the other two taste store-bought.”

“Tastes like summer.”

“My favorite. It tastes like gazpacho and also has some spice.”

“Fresh” was a comment that came up a lot. Here’s the ingredients list: tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, white vinegar, tomato paste, sunflower oil, water, sugar, garlic, habanero, salt, cumin, and red chili pepper. The salsa has no preservatives and nothing artificial, so that’s why it tasted like it was made five minutes before purchase.

As for the cilantro, one person did point out that the recipe seemed cilantro-heavy.

“You can really, really taste the cilantro.”

The other two salsas didn’t fare so well, but that’s to be expected when comparing fresh to jarred. At the Jamaica Plain Stop & Shop we visited, there wasn’t any other fresh salsa product to buy.

“This is what would happen if chili and salsa got married and had a baby.”

“Looks like pasta sauce.”

Our unscientific, incredibly professional taste test.

Our unscientific, incredibly professional taste test.

With the relaunch of the fresh salsa line, Big Papi’s Kitchen now has three products (the salsa, chicken sausage, and snack sticks). A portion of the sales will benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which helps provide pediatric critical care to children in New England and the Dominican Republic.

With only 10 calories per serving, it’s the perfect healthy snack. And even though Ortiz is also the new spokesman for Dunkin’ Donuts, at least he has one healthy item in his repertoire.

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