SalsaSalsa is a sauce usually made from a mixture of chopped or crushed tomotoes, onion, chili peppers, and cilantro. Other ingredients often used include garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper. Typically these vegetables will remain uncooked. However, some recipes call for roasting or boiling the tomatoes.

Varieties of salsa range from completely mild to insanely spicy depending on what chili peppers are used and how many. Salsa can be used as a condiment over scrambled eggs for example, but is primarily served with corn or flour tortilla chips as a dip.

Salsa should not be confused with another popular side called pico de gallo. As with salsa, pico de gallo is also made with tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, and cilantro. However, the ingredients in pico de gallo are chopped fresh and kept chunky.

In addition, there are also salsas that contain corn and/or black beans. These are fairly popular as well. And let’s not forgot that there’s a thing called mango salsa. I really have mixed feelings about one. I don’t know what the actual definition of a salsa is, so I can’t knock it from the list. I don’t however consider it ‘good’. In my book, it will never be good because mango is yucky.

Salsa is something that has fascinated me since I was very young. In fact, I can’t remember an age when I didn’t like salsa. Sure I didn’t really start liking tomatoes until I was 15 years old, but salsa’s different. It doesn’t count as tomatoes. Kind of like pizza sauce.

Anyway, when I say I’m fascinated with salsa, I don’t mean with the different varieties or the complexity of this particular salsa versus that particular salsa. What really fascinates me is that it’s so hard to find good salsa in the store…why can’t companies make good salsa?

Now in all fairness, I’m sure this has something to do with me living in Alaska. We’re about as far away from real Mexican food as you can get while still remaining in the United States. Obviously though, we have Mexican restaurants and I thoroughly enjoy their salsa.

But again, anyone from Texas would probably be disappointed with some of our Mexican restaurants.

I have to say, I don’t truly know what authentic salsa tastes like. Sure, I’ve done research and looked at plenty of so called ‘authentic’ salsa recipes online, but are they truly authentic? I just don’t have enough experience to know for sure. I can tell you this though. Many recipes I’ve come across boldly proclaim themselves to be the best tasting salsa you’ve ever had. While I’m not sure if that’s really the case, I do know that 95% of the time, I’m disappointed in the results whether it be from a home made recipe or purchased from a store.

I don’t know what that elusive ingredient or technique is that most of the Mexican restaurants around here are keeping secret. After all, most of the salsas you can get at a restaurant taste pretty similar. That’s the flavor I’m looking for but can’t seem to find. I want to know the secret.

I’ve been pondering the idea of dropping in on one of our local Mexican restaurants and tossing a $20 at them and see if they’ll handover the secret recipe. You think that would work?