Reviewing the Central Market Cooking School

Photo By John Anderson

Austin Slow Burn Green Chile Con Queso

Available for $5.99 at Whole Foods, Central Market, Grape Vine Market, Farm to Market Grocery, Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop, and Cissi's Market

"I want to bathe in it. I want to eat my body weight in it. I want to marry it and have little queso kids. It's that good." – The Delaney Diaries, praising Austin Slow Burn Chile Con Queso

Not only is Austin Slow Burn's Green Chile Con Queso the absolute best ready-to-microwave grocery-store queso I have ever tasted, it is the best queso I have ever tasted anywhere. Better than at any party, better than at any restaurant. I hasten to add that I am not an innocent regarding chile con queso; as it happens, queso is one of the three foods my husband will actually eat, and it is a rare dining-out experience that doesn't include a small vat of it. I speak with authority on this one: I have actually tried all of the jarred quesos at Central Market. This Green Chile Con Queso is such a remarkable product that I predict it will quickly become the bestseller of Austin Slow Burn's entire line, if it isn't already.

Jill and Kevin Lewis of Austin Slow Burn perfected their Green Chile Con Queso late last summer, just in time to win the Houston Hot Sauce Festival's first prize. Sold in a 12-ounce tub in the refrigerated section, Green Chile Con Queso only needs a quick microwaving to achieve a perfect, smooth consistency, neither runny nor gloppy. The roasted New Mexican green chiles permeate the queso with an aromatic and commanding depth of flavor, supported by background tones of tomato and sautéed onion. The heat level is a solid "medium," just hot enough so that you notice.

Jill Lewis of Austin Slow Burn tells me they have the green chiles specially roasted in a trade-secret process. "That means every August I have to look in my crystal ball and divine exactly how many pounds of green chiles I will need for the coming year!" she says. "But it makes all the difference."

Best. Queso. Ever.

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