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Salsa Recipes Around the World

Updated on June 3, 2013

Indigenous Recipes From The Incas

Salsa is popularly known as a sauce or dip for Mexican foods. It originated with the indigenous Inca Native Mexicans, along with the Mayans and the Aztecs, long ago and was made from the freshest local ingredients. The best salsas are still made in this way. The flavors and the spiciness of these salsas varied with the region in which they were made, depending upon which of hot peppers were used and where they and the tomatoes were grown - in what types of soil.

The Spaniards that entered the Americas had not seen tomatoes until they met the Aztecs. These indigenous people routinely mixed locally grown tomatoes and hot peppers with ground up seeds from local squashes in order to make a sauce. The Aztecs used their spicy sauce with meats: turkey, deer and small game meats, and with local seafood - lobster and fishes.

The explorers liked this sauce very much and named it salsa in 1571 (named by Alonso de Molina).

North America got into the hot sauce and salsa act more fully in the early 1900s, with hot pepper sauces produced in and around New Orleans. Ideas and types of salsas and pepper sauces proliferated until the 21st century, when Campbells Soup Company bought out Pace Foods (see Campbell's history on the web). If you've seen the commercials for Pace sauces, you hear cowboys screech New York City!? about the Pace, only to find that it is good.

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Suggestions for setting up a Salsa Bar.
Suggestions for setting up a Salsa Bar.
Suggestions for setting up a Salsa Bar. | Source


Salsa has become entertaining in it's a different way as well, in its names and associated companies --

Scorned Woman Salsa won 1st place in a hot food show and a catalogue of sauces and salsas is produced by Insane Chicken.

Recently, the Food Network put on an "experiment" to see who could stand the hottest pepper salsa and what other food could put out the fire. Everyone sweated while tasting, and only milk put out the flames, which thinks like carbonated soft drinks beer made the burn worse. Very interesting.

Just remember, when cutting up and seeding hot peppers, wear gloves, or your skin canned by burned by the pepper oils, not to mention your eyes. The latter happened to me one summer and I held my face under running water until the oils were washed away - about 20 minutes.

There are salsas and pepper sauces all through the western hemisphere at this point and nations in the other half of the world have always had their own sorts of spicy hot sauces. Fusion-inspired cooks and chefs experiment continually to come up with new styles. Some interesting recipes I have accumulated and blended appear below.

Top 6 Commercial Salsas

In 2007, the Food Network ran a consumer survey to discover the most popular brands of salsa in America. The results:

  1. SALSAS (3): Brad's Organic (mild),
  2. Rosa Mexicano Chile Pasillo de Oaxaca (medium hot) and
  3. Drew's Hot Organic (hot),
  4. PICANTES: Pace Picante Mild was found best picante sauce.
  5. CORN SALSA: Desert Pepper Trading Co.
  6. GREEN SALSA: Santa Fe Seasons Tomatillo.

Top 5 Healthy Salsas

In the year 2006, the staff of Prevention Magazine performed a research studyabout foods.

Their overall objective was to determine which salsas on the market are to be considered the healthiest while still tasting good.

The Prevention Magazine results:

  1. MILD: Green Mountain Gringo.

  2. MEDIUM: Herdez Medium Salsa Casera (This is my favorite! - Herdez is the bbest in red and green salsas in my opinion).

  3. HOT: Desert Pepper Trading Co.

  4. GREEN SALSA: Santa Barbara.

  5. BLACK BEAN SALSA: Newman's Own.

Cucumber Radish Salsa


  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard, or 1/2 teaspoon bottled prepared mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon EACH, salt and ground pepper
  • ¼ cup red radishes sliced into thin rounds
  • ¼ cup seeded cucumber cut into short matchsticks

Mix altogether and serve as a garnish with pork, chicken, or cream soups.

White radish gives this recipe a different flavor.

Inca culture.
Inca culture.

Mexican Garlic Orange Salsa


  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Large Chili peppers of your choice, washed & seeded
  • 2 Garlic cloves peeled but while
  • Salt to taste
  • 3/4 Cup Orange Juice


  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the peppers.
  • Put fried chilies, garlic, salt, and orange juice into a blender and pulse breifly until coarse chopped.
  • If the salsa is too thick, add more orange juice.
  • Season with salt.

This can be added to chopped tomatoes to from a tomato-orange salsa. A few cut up madarin orange slices add good texture.

Native Americans have used all sorts of berries in salsas for use with deer and bear meat as well as small game and to help them survive hard winters.
Native Americans have used all sorts of berries in salsas for use with deer and bear meat as well as small game and to help them survive hard winters.

Cranberry Salsa


  • 1,12 oz bag fresh cranberries (you can keep them in the freezer and thaw them, but drain the metled water out)
  • 4 Green onions, chopped, using the green parts as well
  • 2 Jalapeno peppers, chopped fine
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Crushed mint leaves
  • 6 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground ginger


Combine ALL ingredients at once and cover to chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours. It will keep for about 3 days.

Fast Garbanzo Salsa


  • 1, 8 oz. Can Garbanzos
  • 1 Cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1/3 Cup plain lo-fat Yogurt
  • 1/3 Cup Green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • Salt & Pepper


  • Drain the garbanzos and save juice for gravies.
  • Puree garbanzos in a blender with the cilantro, yogurt, onions, and lime juice all at once.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

Cucumber Yogurt Salsa

This is a more East Indian influence.


  • 1 Cup Dairy Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup plain Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup chopped Parsley
  • 1/4 Cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1 tsp Cumin for smoky flavor
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Medium sized Cucumbers, washed, seeded and shredded. Remove all of the peel first, or just part of it.


  • Combine ingredients all at once and refrigerate covered for 2 hours.

The Salsa Recipes

5 stars from 1 rating of SALSAS


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      Glad to hear it! I love salsas of many kinds.

    • profile image

      Melanie Procter 5 years ago

      I made the Aztec salsa. It is great.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from North America

      Interesting, Daniel, because the photo was labeled Inca art. Perhaps a prank or error in a group of photos, but then, the Incan original ancestors came from Asia. I'm leaving it stand, in order to show similarities in cultures. Thanks.

      Olmec heads in Mexico are very similar to this, freestanding.

    • profile image

      Daniel 7 years ago

      The Inca Culture photo is evidently from the rare Asian Inca, specifically from the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from North America seems to be a legitimate company registered in Emeryville, California and its prices are very reasonable, with low shipping rates. If anyone orders form them, please let us know how they like the products.

    • profile image

      Salsa Nachos 8 years ago

      Check out SalsaNachos for more of your favorite hard to find Mexican Salsas!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Fresh peppers are marvelous! Thanks for trying my recipes. :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Patty! HMMM! Mexican Garlic Orange Salsa sounds fabulous. I'm waiting impatiently for my peppers in the garden to be ready for picking... I have that recipe earmarked to try...

      regards Zsuzsy