Dear Salsa Jars,

It is with great regret that I must inform you that you have died. You were found neglected and unresponsive at the back of the fridge at 10:38 a.m. Sunday morning, October 6th, and though I was initially hopeful that lifesaving efforts would prove successful, your injuries were too severe.

The sad truth is, your death was not quick but rather drawn out and lonely, over the course of several years, with only a half-empty bottle of cider vinegar, two processed cheese slices and an unlabelled jar of homemade pickles, origin unknown, for company.

Those must have been dark hours, indeed.

However, it is my hope that you will find comfort in the fact that while you are certainly headed to the great serving bowl in the sky, your work here, on Earth, will not be forgotten. You were born in spotless commercial kitchens, nurtured by nimble robot arms, moved about by long, circuitous conveyer belts and cradled by giant, autonomous mixing bowls, all while being closely monitored and quality controlled by many hardworking ladies and gentlemen wearing lab coats and hairnets. You were scooped up by tortilla chips. You were placed artfully into tex-mex tacos so as to maximize available light therefore photogenic quality for the IG. You were hashtagged and filtered. You were even consumed, once, by the spoonful right from the jar during an edible-induced attack of the munchies. You were chunky, mild, medium, spicy. You were many things to many people.

And please rest easy in the knowledge that your funerals will be handled very discreetly and efficiently with a lid-on burial by garbage can. And while I’m aware this contravenes many recycling by-laws to which I’m honour bound and swore to uphold during a week-long intensive recycling camp where there were several emotional fireside “green-awakenings,” a plastics-only blood pact with my roommate, Steve, and a botched trust fall (not my fault), my squeamishness must win out in this situation. Your undoubtedly rotten and moldy insides would be simply too much to bear.

But you deserved better.

Well, three of you did. It is my contention to this day that you, the jar of Salsa Con Queso (with real Monteray Jack!), brought over during a summer backyard potluck should never have been given the curse of existence. But this is not your fault, Cheese Salsa. You only wanted to please, to be enjoyed. No, for this, I blame Claudette. Or perhaps Greta.

Fault, yes, let’s talk about that. At this point you may be looking to lay blame at someone’s feet. I wouldn’t deny you such a thing for it is a perfectly natural reaction to being food dead and you have every right to do so. I would only ask that you lay blame at the correct feet. Because though I would appear to be the obvious culprit, I contend that I’m (like yourself) simply a product of my environment. If you’re looking to lay blame look no further than the myriad of factors that got us where we are today: society’s ever shortening attention span, my parents who never finished a jar of salsa in their lives, the bag of big brand tortilla chips that claimed to be the “ultimate salsa transporter” but were broken and likely ill-conceived from a design standpoint from the start, the vagaries of consumer culture, the go-faster-buy-more-look-ma-another-skew ad slogan world we live in and the pumpkin, raspberry and peach they began adding to you to make you “hip” and “now” but that only decreased your already tenuous and short-term shelf life.

And these are just a few examples.

So you can see what I’m dealing with and why it is so difficult to do right by a jar of salsa in this complex and fraught day and age.

In conclusion, I hope this letter has been of comfort to you in your time of deceasedness.

And know that as the garbage truck whisks you away to your final resting place next Thursday morning, I will be thinking of you. And playing a song loudly in your honour: Nelly’s circa-2002 smash hit, “Hot in Herre.”

Yours Truly,
A Salsa Fan

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