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.
Salsa is actually a general term; the word simply means "sauce" in Spanish. Of course when we in the states say salsa we are thinking of a certain kind of sauce used as a condiment for Mexican dishes and as a dip - but there are a lot of different kinds of salsas out there made from an incredible variety of ingredients.
You will find many tomato salsas, generally including jalapeno or Serrano peppers along with onions and herbs, green salsas made from tomatillos (small green tomatoes) and green salsas which are much spicier, made with a base of pureed green chilies. You will also find chilies made with ground-dried chilies like guajillo, pasilla and others and even salsas that are somewhat reminiscent of pesto, being made from a base of ground pumpkin seeds and nuts!
If you like a Mexican food recipe and are looking to try a Mexican salsa recipe, which is a little different yet is still on the milder side, why not try making a fruit salsa? The most commonly used fruits in these salsas are mangoes and peaches, since these fruits have a good balance of acidity and sweetness, making them good companions for tomato and cilantro while taking some of the burn out of the jalapenos or other hot peppers. These salsas are a delight, especially if you have never tried them before.
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.
One especially good and very easy salsa recipe to make at home is pico de gallo, or "rooster's beak" in Spanish. It is a salsa you may have had before at a Mexican restaurant and if so, it is easy to make your own at home which is every bit as good! It goes wonderfully with tortilla chips and nearly any Mexican recipe you can think of. It's as simple as mixing together some diced tomato, onion, jalapeno and chopped cilantro, perhaps with a little fresh lime juice to give it a pleasant zing.
Unfortunately, we do not have nearly enough time to tell you about all of the many variations on Mexican salsas which you could try at home. These ideas can get you off to a good start; with a little research and a little experimentation in your kitchen, you are sure to come up with some of your very own salsa recipes, which can add a little variety; and a little spice to your own Mexican creations.
Traditional Mexican recipes make a great change from our usual staples and if you want to surprise your family with something deliciously different tonight, why not check out the recipes at MexicanFoodRecipes.org for some inspiring food ideas? Mexican food is nutritious and flavorful and sure to become a family favorite.