Salsa, baby! One of the Best Condiments Ever
Salsa, a world over favorite condiment
Salsa, chutneys and relishes can be found in many cultures throughout the world. My fondness for salsa has only grown over the years. Now I like almost any kind no matter what the degree of heat. Having lived in the United States, in a handful of the Southern States, I have been able to try all kinds of salsas from many regions. I think that tortilla chips and salsa are a match made in heaven.
While having chips and salsa is great, but the list of things that salsa can be paired with, is one long list. There's good reason for it, because its just so good and its an explosion of flavor. All that and good for you too? Not much more needs to be said! The combination of putting tomatoes, chilies and other spices together continues to be very popular.
We love salsa! In our house, we all love salsa so much, that we not only buy it at the store, but we are growing our own salsa this year. In particular, our garden is a salsa garden! We have growing all kinds of tomatoes and peppers, and cilantro and more. I hope to expand the size of our garden in the future. For now, I have my butterfly garden, herb garden, so the salsa garden is the newest addition. A side note... has anyone else noticed the price of some fresh produce skyrocket as of late? Just another reason to grow your own. Salsa that is fresh, is the best, in my opinion
Homemade Salsa My husband is an admitted food snob, so he won't mind if I say that here. He challenges himself on his own recipes to improve them outdo himself the next time. We had some friends that joked once that "true friends may just share their homemade salsa at times like Christmas, all in the spirit of giving"... he needed no more encouragement. Next Christmas, they got a gift bag, with some favorite tortilla chips and you guessed it, some homemade salsa! That is even more fun in the winter time when fresh salsa doesn't come so readily.
In my Salsa Garden Here is a list of ingredients, that we have growing in our garden currently:
Triunfo F-1 Pepper
Numex Conquistador Pepper
Peron Sprayless Tomato - traditional
Paul Robeson Tomato - Heirloom
Arkansas Traveler Tomato
Pepper Hot Tiburon
Tomato Park Razzleberry Hybrid - a dark pink tomato
Chadwick Cherry Tomato - but I think this is just for salads, etc. My husband will try to incorporate it though into the salsa if I know him. We are also growing red and green bell peppers. Red peppers are crazy expensive right now. The other missing ingredients are onions and garlic, but I have those on hand often from the store. I hope to grow those in the future.
I will let you know how our salsa garden works out, right now everything is growing fairly well and it some of the plants are knee high or more. We could have started a little earlier and will for sure next year.
Brief history of Salsa
Some say that the Incas were the first known people to really originate salsa or a form of it. The Aztecs, Mayans and Incas all have history with salsa when we trace things way back. In 1519-1521, was when the Spaniards first encountered tomatoes after conquering Mexico. Some say this marked the beginning of Salsa. Evidently, it was Aztec Lords, that came up with the combination of tomatoes, chili peppers and interestingly squash seeds (a great idea as a thickener perhaps). They put this salsa on many things including main dishes such as Fish, Lobster, Venison and Turkey. Wow they were really eating well even back then. While not called "salsa" at that time, it was later coined salsa by Alonso de Molina, about fifty years later in 1571. I am sure there is a lot more to the whole story, but I for one am so thankful they came up with it, for its such a staple now and loved by so many.
Take their lead, and try some recipes that call for salsa on more main dishes. That is what I am inspired to do. There are too many nutrients jam packed into salsa, along with the flavor, to miss out on it. Salsas I want to make and enjoy in the future are more of the fruity mango salsas, and the Salsa Verde or green salsa.