The word “sauce” takes on such a different feel when translated into Spanish: ¡SALSA! Just a glance at the word ¡SALSA! brings to mind visions of tomatoes, onions and jalapeños and the other zesty ingredients that make up this Mexican staple. Go ahead and indulge – the punch of flavor and low calorie count make salsa a guiltless treat that can complement a wide range of dishes – plus, it is chock full of nutrients.
We could get into some wonderful salsa facts, like the history (traced back to the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans), the heat levels: mild (made using Anaheim peppers), medium (made using jalapeño peppers) or scorching (habanero peppers). Or, there is the little-known fact that salsa has completely outperformed ketchup sales for many years.
But, for this particular salsa salute, we’ve chosen to take a different approach: did you know that there is a salsa for every color of the rainbow?
Red – Traditional Salsa
First, the obvious … the traditional … and usually our favorite: Red. The ubiquitous tomato-based version is the most common salsa brand and what you’re likely to find with chips on the table at your local Mexican restaurant. El Segundo Sol Restaurant in Las Vegas has a smoky Charred Tomato Salsa and a fresh Pico de Gallo with bottomless chips. Try it with one of their Strawberry Margaritas made with fresh strawberries! ¡MUY DELICIOSO!
Orange – Mango Salsa
The delicious and juicy Mango gives this salsa its orangey color. Native to South Asia but also grown and harvested in the tropics, this fleshy and sweet fruit balances well with onion, spices and chilies and makes a delicious sauce for chicken and fish. Maria Bonita Restaurant in New York City tops their pan fried salmon with the sweet mango sauce. ¡OLÉ!
Yellow – Corn Salsa
Why not use one of America’s top crops as the main ingredient in one of America’s top condiments?! Barrio Star in San Diego accents many of their dishes, including their Tortilla Soup, Tamal De Pollo and Mexican Chopped Salad, with this sweet and spicy accompaniment. ¡MMMMMMMM!
Green – Tomatillo Salsa
Many restaurants carry this delicious salsa derived from the bright green husky fruit. This salsa has its own quality of tang and mixes beautifully with onions, garlic and jalapeños. This salsa is a delicious topping for chicken enchiladas, chilaquiles and anywhere you would normally put red salsa! Patron’s Hacienda in Chicago uses a salsa verde on their delicious enchiladas. ¡QUE RICO!
Blue and Indigo … well, maybe salsas don’t come in every color of the rainbow. BUT, you can enjoy your salsa with blue chips! This, sometimes, lighter variant of the traditional tortilla chip is made from blue corn. Similar in taste and festive in color for your dipping pleasure. ¡SABROSO!
Violet – Purple Tomatillo Salsa
This variety of salsa, probably hasn’t hit your local Mexican restaurant yet, but we are pretty sure more eclectic Mexican restaurants will carry this vibrantly colored and tartly flavored salsa! ¡YUMMY!