Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Letter to Tostitos Concerning Condiments

Dear Frito-Lay North America, Inc.,

Recently I’ve been trying to watch what I eat. Not so much sugar, not so much salt, not so much red meat, not so much bread and pasta. You know how that goes. And as a result of this change I’ve been looking for ways to keep my diet from becoming boring. That’s where you come in.

Salsa has fast become a favorite of mine and your chips are the tiny makeshift rafts that bring that zesty Latin flavor to my unprotected borders. Your chips are a good thickness, a good taste. Nothing about them has been done to excess because you know that they are at best an edible delivery service. And for that I thank you.

So, being that I'm so delighted with your chips I decided to take a cue from the front of the chip bag and try out some of your salsa too. The “All Natural Tostitos Chunky Salsa” to be exact. Medium. And, I’ve got to say that, where I enjoy the light, flakey, and salty taste of your delicious tortilla chips, I’m not so sold on your prescribed salsa counterpart.

Mostly because it tastes like crap.

Now before you say anything, let me expand a little on the subject. Tell you why I think your salsa might underperform against the local flavor. Or dirt.

There’s a local Mexican diner just 2 or 3 miles down the road from me that makes a pretty great salsa. Now, I’ll admit it can be a little runny at times, but the flavor is always intact. I think this might be because they use a base consisting of tomatoes and peppers and maybe a little jalapeño. They buy fresh vegetables, maybe a lemon or a lime, and take all that back to the restaurant. Then they cook these ingredients together according to a recipe, in a pot, probably on a low heat to let that flavor soak in. After that I imagine they refrigerate it so it can be as fresh as possible for their customers.

Now, I’m guessing that you’ve already picked up on some slight differences between that scenario and the way that you’re probably used to making salsa. Because when I taste yours I’m thinking that it’s less the market and kitchen and fridge kinds of steps, and more that you captured one of the last remaining goblins from folklore, tied him upside down, cut his throat, and then caught all of his putrid, rotting blood in an ancient and evil black cauldron, and then stoked the fires of Hell under that cursed pot to boil his life force away. Then more than likely just decided to throw the goblin’s corpse in there for thickness.

Maybe the Fires of Hell aren’t involved, I don’t know, I’m not an expert. But I’m not sure what else would give you that, “baby shit and dead grandmothers” flavor you seem to be going for. A flavor, I am sorry to tell you, is not as popular as your research team had led you to believe.

Regular people tend to like spice and texture, but not so much spices that taste shitty and have the texture of shit. I think getting away from shit and shit based cooking, and moving towards actual food, would be a good first step on the road to not poisoning people.

Because that’s kind of what it feels like you’re doing. You’re delicious chips proudly told me to go purchase this salsa because they would be “perfect” together. So either your chips are a bunch of goddamn liars, or they were purposely misinformed by you to trick me into buying an inferior and possibly dangerous product.

I mean, god knows what’s in this crap. Strychnine and batwings as far as the fucking taste test goes, right? It's kind of hard to pin down. So many things come to mind when I consume your salsa: dirty dish water, the inside of a small animal, starving children in India and how they wouldn’t eat this.

How can you fuck salsa up? I bet I could take random cans of things from my cupboard without looking at them, some pepper and taco seasoning, and make something that would get closer to salsa than this. Actually, when I think about YOUR shit, I bet I could take random cans and bottles from under the sinks in my house and get something closer to salsa than this.

And it’s not just compared to the local illegals. You are the worst of the STORE BOUGHT salsas. You came in last at the Special Olympics. What gives?

The chips are good, your queso isn’t horrible, what happened with the salsa? It almost feels intentional. I look at the bag now and see that suggestion of perfect companionship between chip and dip and it seems like a big “fuck you” printed right there in yellow, red, and green.

I’ll forgive the subterfuge for the chips’ sake. No sense in having to go through some kind of baked tortilla layoff just because some corporate fat cat wants to put a pretty label on a mason jar full of things he found around the office and sell it as dip. It's really more my fault from listening to an ad on a label. It never works out how you hoped it would.

Well, that's the last time I let a bag of food tell ME what to do, I’ll tell you that much.

Ok, that was a lie.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
Hates your goddamned salsa.
Really? Yeah, really.

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