My wife decided she wanted to go out to lunch today.  After a bit of back and forth about where, we opted to go to Cuquita’s, a Mexican restaurant adjacent to one of the grocery stores we frequent, Fiesta.  The choice of Cuquita’s was practical, as we had a list of things we needed from either Fiesta or Supermercado El Rancho, another favorite, and the restaurant’s proximity tipped the scale.  But a quick stop in El Rancho made it clear than a stop in Supermercado El Rancho was in order; that’s where we did our shopping today…it’s on the way home from Cuquita’s, so no inconvenience..

Despite having bought a gallon can of jalapeños just a short while ago, I noticed this morning that we were dangerously low on this important staple.  I needed another gallon.  I’d hoped to get lucky and find, when I opened the can of San Marco brand pickled  jalapeños, that I had a bunch of very large, very crisp jalapeños.  Alas, they were small and a bit over-prepared, but they will serve their purpose.  I used to buy a brand called Clemente Jacques, but I haven’t been able to find them lately.  The only gallon cans I find these days are San Marcos and La Costeña brand, neither of which have, of late, thrilled me with the size and quality of the peppers.

After opening the less-than-satisfactory-can today, I decided I need to do some research; which brands are reputed to reveal large, crisp jalapeños when the can is opened?  And, equally as important, where can I find them in gallon sizes?

I turned to the internet for answers.  I found plenty of information, but not exactly what I sought.  But that’s often the case.  So, I decided the best approach to my dilemma would be to buy a small can (or jar) of each of several brands of  jalapeños and do my own analysis. Then, once I’ve decided which one I prefer, attempt to find the brand in gallon containers.

Thus far, I’ve identified the following brands of canned (and jarred)  jalapeños:

  • San Marcos
  • La Costeña
  • Clemente Jacques
  • Embasa
  • Trappey’s
  • Herdez
  • Louisiana Brand
  • Ortega
  • Vlasic
  • Faro

During the course of my research, though, I kept coming across comments about Trappey’s (which I have probably tried, but don’t remember…I do remember they come in jars, not cans).  The comments often mention how crisp they are…HEY NOW!  So I keep reading. The trick, some say, is that Trappey’s and possibly a few other brands cold pickle the peppers, rather than do traditional canning.   (Here’s an example of the Trappey’s conversations, for my reference, along with recipes for doing your own. I may want to do that some time, but not now, not in my state of laziness.) I have a vague recollection of eating some jalapeños from a jar that were, indeed, crisp, but as I recall they were too crisp and had a somewhat odd flavor.  Another reason for a “formal” taste test.

For now, though, I have slightly more than a gallon of jalapeños en escabeche.  Thanks to our trip to El Rancho, we have plenty of raw  jalapeños, as well, along with tomatillos, chiles serranos, cilantro, and other goodies necessary to make a nice salsa or, perhaps, pico de gallo for the tacos I’ll make tomorrow night. 

If anyone stumbling on this post knows of more brand of pickled  jalapeños, especially brands that tend to sell large, crisp peppers, I will be deeply indebted if you will leave a note with details!


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Jalapeños

  1. Juan says:

    I’ve always found success in Trappey’s (Louisiana).

    It’s important, because a good pickled jalapeno should be like a good pickle — crunchy (but hot). If it’s soft — that’s “no bueno.” Trappeys seems to deliver, but I have unconsciously bought scores of pickled jalapenos in jars without a thought from where they come, expecting crunchiness! That’s not always the case!

    As a fellow Texan, we expect hot and crunchy in our pickled jalapenos!

  2. We have Costco; I will have to check to see if they carry them. Last time I bought them at Costco, it was the Kirkland brand and not very good! But I’d forgotten about them until you mentioned it!

  3. Trish says:

    John, beginning another huge “aficionado” of the jalepeños en escabeche, and naturally fresh as well, your favorite (so far) brand, Clemente Jacques is sold everywhere here, in every size and cut, too. But, the one gallon size I’ve normally only seen in Costco, of all places. Do you have Costco in Texas? I want to say you have “Sam’s Club” in your state, but they are essentially the same thing anyway. Just a thought, but you might check there.

    Love this link you’ve provided for making your own. Did this many moons ago (spend weekends pickling on some occasion….when dangerously low, as you said), though in addition to the jalapeños and onions, I tossed in large garlic cloves, and sliced carrots. But I’m going to earmark this page, for I’d like to make some again, and this recipe sounds similar as to my old recipe, which I have since lost. Could kick myself for that, for a Mexican woman whom was most probably the best cooks I’ve ever met here had given it to me! Dammit! Lol! En fin…

    Maybe this could help….

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