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#1
Old 01-26-2008, 04:57 PM
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Tostitos Salsa con Queso: Truth in Advertising

The following rant has been deemed too mild for the BBQ Pit by the Phase 42 Standards Enforcement Committee, so into MPSIMS it goes.

I loves me some Tostitos Salsa con Queso, but I find myself somewhat confused. Confused on two points, specifically:

1) "Salsa con Queso" = "sauce with cheese" (literal translation). I assume that Tostitos is using the word "salsa" in it's Americanized form, meaning "chunky hot sauce", since to Mexicans even the non-chunky "hot sauce" is still called "salsa". So, going by the American usage, the name of the product implies "chunky hot sauce with cheese". This seems something of a misnomer, because the actual product seems to actually be cheese sauce with spices and chunks of peppers added to it. A more appropriate name for the product would seem to be "Salsa de Queso con Chiles" (literally, cheese sauce with peppers). I'll admit that this name doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well as "Salsa con Queso", but it's far more accurate.

2) Every jar I've seen is labeled "Medium". "Medium" is one of those words I've always had trouble with, because I'm something of a literalist. My first annoying encounter with the word came when I was placing my order at a fast food restaurant, and I asked for a small soda. The teenaged drone behind the counter replied, "We don't have small. We just have medium and large." I had to restrain myself from throttling the young man and informing him that the word "medium" means, roughly, "in the middle", and thus implies that there are a minimum of three options: small, medium, and large. If there are only two options, one of them cannot be "medium". With only two options those options are, of necessity, "small" and "large". Thus, when I asked for "small", it is safe to assume that I'm asking for the smallest size available.

Which brings me back to "Medium" Salsa con Queso. This is an even more egregious abuse of nomenclature, because there seems to be only one option. Since the product is a Mexican-style condiment, it's safe to assume that "Medium" refers to the level of hotness. Leaving aside the fact that Tostitos Salsa con Queso Medium could be more accurately described as "extremely mild", the simple fact that there exists only one level of "hotness" in the product puts the lie to the label "Medium". In several years of consuming this product, I have seen no evidence that there are "Mild" and "Hot" varieties of ScQ. Even the official Tostitos Web site depicts only a jar of the "Medium" variety and makes no mention of other varieties.

What say ye? Have you any similar examples?
#2
Old 01-26-2008, 05:14 PM
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It's referring to its spiciness on the continuum of spiciness. There are both more and less spicy foods, no biggy.
#3
Old 01-26-2008, 05:21 PM
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As far as your second example goes, it seems to me that the sauce (which I love too, BTW) rates somewhere in the medium range of general "hotness," as perceived by white-bread, pale, "Ketchup-is-spicy" American shoppers. Not as an example of a median hotness level for their queso. In truth, the stuff needs an ample infusion of Crystal sauce to be really palatable. But my level of "medium" would be off the scale for most gringos.

I think they use the "sauce with cheese" convention so that some dimwitted Mexican doesn't think it's something he would want to eat.

(Note on the above: The "dimwitted" comment was to show that no Mexican in their right mind, or possessing a fraction of their God-given mental ability would ever choose to eat any Tostitos product voluntarily.)

But the stuff makes a killer topping for a baked potato, and it's just a microwave away.
#4
Old 01-26-2008, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Like you, I'd only seen medium around for ages. And then, one day, I saw the unthinkable. An actual jar of "Hot". But it wasn't just labeled Tostitos Salsa con Queso, no...it was labeled Tostitos Salsa con Queso with Real Jalapeños.
There is also, I've heard, a Tostitos Chili con Queso that has the "Hot" tag.

I found the stuff in a slightly more larger store chain (Safeway) than the one I typical shop at (Bashas).

Last edited by Idle Thoughts; 01-26-2008 at 05:34 PM.
#5
Old 01-26-2008, 05:48 PM
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If you're only going to offer one level of hot sauce, "medium" sells the most jars. "Hot" scares some people away, and "mild" (which is what these Wonder Bread American salsas really are) is a turn off to others. "Medium" is a safe and ambiguous answer which tells heat seekers (falsely) that the product contains some spice, but tells the spice wimps that it's not too much...it's not hot, just medium.

Thusly, the "medium" label is designed to turn off the least amount of shoppers. No matter what the actual level of heat is, calling it "medium" will always turn off fewer shoppers than either 'hot" or "mild" will.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 01-26-2008 at 05:52 PM.
#6
Old 01-26-2008, 06:12 PM
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Wouldn't you rather just whip up some Rotel Cheese Dip?
#7
Old 01-26-2008, 06:58 PM
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That's odd, I can find Mild and Hot frequently. I probably have a few jars of both in my cabinet -- Mild for the husband, Medium for me, and Hot for the little kids. (Weird family, I know.)
#8
Old 01-26-2008, 07:01 PM
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I like that nacho cheese sauce in a can. I call it "can queso."
#9
Old 01-27-2008, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle Thoughts
Salsa con Queso with Real Jalapeños.
There is also, I've heard, a Tostitos Chili con Queso that has the "Hot" tag.

I found the stuff in a slightly more larger store chain (Safeway) than the one I typical shop at (Bashas).
Oh my! Now that's something I'd definitely buy! I also do my shopping at Safeway, but all I've seen there is the Medium.

As to what I'd actually consider "medium" ... I also loves me some Tapatio and Chalula (sp?). I like it hot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic
Thusly, the "medium" label is designed to turn off the least amount of shoppers. No matter what the actual level of heat is, calling it "medium" will always turn off fewer shoppers than either 'hot" or "mild" will.
Sir, you are making sense. Stop it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissGypsy
That's odd, I can find Mild and Hot frequently.
I'm amazed! You'd think the fact that my town's population is about 30% Mexican would encourage the local distributor to stock the Hot variety.
#10
Old 01-27-2008, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phase42
As to what I'd actually consider "medium" ... I also loves me some Tapatio and Chalula (sp?). I like it hot.
If you think Cholula is hot, you really should stay away from this, this, and especially this.
#11
Old 01-27-2008, 07:40 AM
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I like the medium salsa.

Wonder Bread ain't bad, I guess. I've had worse.
#12
Old 01-27-2008, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sturmhauke
If you think Cholula is hot, you really should stay away from this, this, and especially this.
Heh. I've tasted one variety of the Dave's Total Insanity sauce. That was a bit too hot. A friend had a bottle. I stuck a toothpick in it, shook off the excess, and touched it to my tongue.

I couldn't breathe, and I thought my heart had stopped

However, that's the main reason I call Tapatio and Cholula "medium".
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