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Adjusting spiciness to the European palate...or not?

As we were developing our salsa products we came to the table (so to speak) with our own, authentic Texas recipes. These were also authentically spicy. People from our home region like it hot, and so do we. But that doesn't mean we like to burn our mouths off! There is a balance to be found between hot enough to give a kick, but not too hot to mask the flavour of the other ingredients.

In the early stages of trial production, many advisors told us that our spicier sauces such as Bull Rider were too hot "for the Swiss palate." In fact, we have also observed that nearly all so-called Mexican salsas or "dips" available, not just in Switzerland, but in European supermarkets in general, tend to be less hot and also sweeter than the authentic salsas of Texas and Mexico which they are modelled upon.

In our earlier production runs we chose to take this advice and tone down the spiciness of our product, so as not to "scare away" the Swiss customers! But after the launch of our salsas, the almost universal feedback we got was "make them spicier!". We were so glad to hear this, so we did!

Now, they are not too spicy, and anyway there is a flavour for every palate. "Trail Rider" is gentle with just a bit of kick from jalapeño pepper. "Barrel Racer" is a notch hotter (while also being a tiny bit sweet), due to its habanero peppers. Finally, the star of the show - Bull Rider - is the hottest of the trio, with both jalapeño and chipotle. Still, not too hot, we don't think!

People ask us, "which sauce is your favourite?". As the producer of the sauce, we shouldn't answer that other than, "they are all great!". Well, they are all great, but the one we eat the most of at home is naturally the Bull Rider!

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