Many people who are unfamiliar with Mexican cuisine often think of ‘salsa’ as a jarred red sauce with a kick. They will roll into their grocery store and head to Mexican food section and pick up a jar for chips, tacos or whatever other recipe calls for “salsa”. However, the concept of salsa in Mexico is very complex because of the plethora of recipes for salsas that many times vary region to region. It is also important to know that certain recipes call for specific types of salsas.
Can you buy the stereotypical jarred/canned salsas in Mexico? Unfortunately….yes! Everybody turns to convenience every once in a while and those sodium infused jarred salsas are there. However, when you have the fresh ingredients on hand you can play in the kitchen for days preparing salsas.
Fresh chile salsas! Dried chile salsas! Salsas verdes! Oh my! Blow- your-head-off spicy salsas! Sweet salsas! Salsas for marinades! Salsas for soups! Salsas for tacos and sandwiches! Does it ever end? Also, salsas may require different techniques in order to prepare- roasting, toasting, soaking, boiling and other processes. They may even have a different name rather than salsa. Ever heard of mole? Pipián? Adobo?
One common link among salsas is usually some sort of chile pepper, whether it is fresh or dried. Most fresh chiles are also used in their dried versions as well. The dried versions take on a different flavor all together. One example is the well-known Poblano pepper used for chiles rellenos. When dried, it becomes a deep red Ancho chile.
Stay tuned for some salsa recipes in our recipe category! We are anxious to share our love of Mexican cuisine!
P.S. We told you salsas can be diverse! That picture of the bowl of salsa on the main page? Well, it is a Oaxacan salsa with ‘chapulines’ or grasshoppers!