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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Salsa


A lot of people’s experience with salsa begins and ends with the mass-marketed grocery store salsas. Usually on the milder side and mostly made from tomato, these are definitely the type which most Americans are familiar with. While this is a style of salsa that you will also run across in Mexico, there are many other kinds of Mexican salsas to choose from at specialty shops; you can also make your own at home.

Salsa is actually the best-selling condiment in the United States; while the type discussed above is the one you will tend to see the most often, salsa is something in which there is nearly endless variety available. If you have a low tolerance for spice and heat, do not worry Mexican salsa recipes run the gamut from the mild and flavorful to the fiery, so there is at least one out there, which is certain to become a new favorite.

As it happens, salsa refers to a great number of different condiments and sauces. In fact, the word salsa is simply the Spanish word for sauce. However, when most of use the word, we are thinking of a specific type of condiment used largely in Mexican, southwestern and Tex-Mex cuisines. The world of Mexican salsas is a lot bigger than many of us think, with salsa recipes including a lot of different ingredients and some being quite a bit different than what we usually think of as salsa.

Other than the basic tomato salsa with onions. Herbs and peppers (usually jalapeno or Serrano peppers), you will also find many green salsas (called salsa verde in Spanish) which are made from tomatillos and green chilies. There are also salsas made from ground pumpkin seeds and nuts with chocolate and chilies, salsas made from dried chilies like pasilla and guajillo peppers and even fruits!

Perhaps you like Mexican food and are looking for a more restrained Mexican salsa recipe, which will still add a little variety to your table. How about a fruit salsa? Mango and peach salsas are both popular varieties, with the acidity and sweetness of the fruit playing well off of tomato and cilantro and lessening the kick of the hot peppers used. If you have never tried these kinds of salsa before, you are in for a real treat.

You can also make your own fruit salsas at home. While mangoes and peaches are both great choices, do not be afraid to experiment and find your own combinations. Pineapple, avocado, and other fruits can all be used in salsa with delicious results.

Another popular type of salsa you may want to try making on your own if you have not already is pico de gallo (Spanish for “rooster’s beak”). While salsa is almost always a quick and easy thing to make, pico de gallo is perhaps the easiest of all. It is a simple recipe consisting of diced tomatoes, onions and a little jalapeno peppers. Most cooks prefer to add a little finely chopped cilantro and some limejuice as well to give it a little more zip.

Unfortunately, there just is not enough room here to discuss all of the great Mexican salsas and recipe ideas, which are out there to discover. However, we hope that this article has given you a few ideas and gotten you interested in learning and tasting more. It is fun and easy to make salsa in your own kitchen and you should feel free to experiment with any salsa recipes you want to try. With your own creative spin, you can make some truly unique salsas, which are sure to be a hit when served with your favorite Mexican recipes.

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