Salsa

2013-01-01

About Salsa

“Salsa” is Spanish for “sauce,”. In English it usually refers to the spicy, often tomato- or corn-based hot sauces typical of Mexican cuisine, particularly those used as dips.

Salsa, which has been America’s favorite condiment since 2000—supplanting ketchup—actually has been a favorite condiment for thousands of years. The chile has been domesticated since about 5200 B.C.E., and tomatoes by 3000 B.C.E. both in Central America. The two were combined into a condiment, which the Conquistadors named “salsa,” or sauce. The spicy sauce gave name to a hot and spicy late 20th century dance related to the mambo…but that’s just the tail end of the story.

History of Salsa

The history of Salsa sauce originated from the Inca people. Salsa (combination of chilies, tomatoes and other spices) can be traced to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. The Spaniards first encountered tomatoes after their conquest of Mexico in 1519-1521, which marked the beginning of the history of Salsa sauce. Aztec lords combined tomatoes with chili peppers, ground squash seeds and consumed them mainly as a condiment served on turkey, venison, lobster, and fish. This combination was subsequently called salsa by Alonso de Molina in 1571.

Charles E. Erath of New Orleans was the first person in salsa sauce history who began manufacturing Extract of Louisiana Pepper, Red Hot Creole Peppersauce in 1916. A year later, La Victoria Foods started Salsa Brava in Los Angeles.

In Louisiana in 1923, Baumer Foods began manufacturing Crystal Hot Sauce and in 1928 Bruce Foods started making Original Louisiana Hot Sauce – two salsa sauce brands that are still in existence.

In 1941, Henry Tanklage formed La Victoria Sales Company to market a new La Victoria salsa line. He introduced red and green taco, and enchilada sauces – the first of salsa hot sauces in US. He took over the entire La Victoria operation in 1946, which manufactures ten different hot sauces now covering the entire salsa spectrum, including Green Chili Salsa and Red Salsa Jalapeña.

According to the hot sauce history, salsa manufacturing in Texas began in 1947 with David and Margaret Pace and their picante sauce. In 1952, La Victoria Foods introduced the first commercial taco sauce in US and in 1955, La Preferida launched a line of salsas.

In 1975, Patti Swidler of Arizona launched Desert Rose Salsa. Four years later, in Austin (Texas), Dan Jardine began producing Jardine's commercial salsa, giving Austin the reputation in the history of Salsa Sauce as the hot sauce capital of America. Another Texas company, the El Paso Chili Company, was started in 1980 by Norma and W. Park Kerr. In 1986, Miguel's Stowe Away in Vermont launched a salsa line and in April, 1986, Sauces & Salsas Ltd. began manufacturing the Montezuma brand of hot pepper sauces and salsas in Ohio.

Between 1985 and 1990, Mexican sauce sales grew seventy-nine percent; between 1988 and 1992, the percentage of American households buying salsa increased from 16 to 36. By 1992, the top eight salsa manufacturers in the history of salsa sauce were Pace, Old El Paso, Frito-Lay, Chi-Chi's, La Victoria, Ortega, Herdez, and Newman's Own. By 1993, competition from smaller salsa companies was so fierce that Pace, Old El Paso, and six other brands saw Texas sales decline three percent.

The big news in 1994 was the buy out of two of the largest companies in the Fiery Foods Industry. Numero Uno salsa manufacturer, Pace Foods, was sold to Campbell Soup Company for an astronomical USD1.1 billion.

Types of Salsa

Mexican salsas were traditionally produced using the mortar and pestle-like molcajete, although blenders are now more commonly used. The Mayans made salsa also, using a mortar and pestle. Well-known salsas include:

  • Salsa roja, “red sauce”, is used as a condiment in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, and usually made with cooked tomatoes, chili peppers, onion, garlic, and fresh cilantro (the plant produces coriander seed).
  • Pico de gallo (“rooster’s beak”), also known as salsa fresca (“fresh sauce”), salsa picada (“chopped sauce”), or salsa mexicana (“Mexican sauce”), is made with raw tomatoes, lime juice, chili peppers, onions, cilantro leaves, and other coarsely chopped raw ingredients.
  • Salsa verde, “green sauce”, in Mexican versions, is made with tomatillos, usually cooked. The Italian version is made with herbs.
  • Salsa negra, “black sauce” is a Mexican sauce made from dried chilis, oil, and garlic.
  • Salsa taquera, “taco sauce”: Made with tomatillos and morita chili
  • Salsa criolla is a South American salsa with a sliced-onion base.
  • Salsa ranchera, “ranch-style sauce”: Made with roasted tomatoes, various chilies, and spices, it typically is served warm, and possesses a thick, soupy quality. Though it contains none, it imparts a characteristic flavor reminiscent of black pepper.
  • Salsa brava, “wild sauce”, is a mildly spicy sauce made with tomato, garlic, onion, and vinegar, often flavored with paprika. On top of potato wedges, it makes the dish patatas bravas, typical of tapas bars in Spain.
  • Guacamole is thicker than a sauce and generally used as a dip; it refers to any sauce where the main ingredient is avocado.
  • Mole (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmole]) is a Mexican sauce made from chili peppers mixed with spices, unsweetened chocolate, almonds, and other ingredients.
  • Mango salsa is a spicy-sweet sauce made from mangoes, used as a topping for nachos. It is often also used as a garnish on grilled chicken or grilled fish due to the sauce’s gamut of complementary flavors.
  • Pineapple salsa is a spicy and sweet sauce made from pineapples, used as an alternative to the mango salsa.
  • Chipotle salsa is a smoky, spicy sauce made from smoked jalapeño chili peppers, tomatoes, garlic and spices.
  • Habanero salsa is an extremely spicy salsa, where the piquancy comes from habanero peppers.
  • Corn salsa is a chunky salsa made with sweetcorn and other ingredients, such as onions, and chiles (either poblano, bell peppers, and/or jalapenos), made popular by the burrito chains for burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.
  • Carrot salsa is made with carrots as the base.
  • There are many other salsas, both traditional and nouveau, some are made with mint, pineapple, or mango.

Outside of Mexico and Central America, the following salsas are common to each of the following regions; in Argentina and the Southern Cone, chimichurri sauce is common. Chimichurri is “a spicy vinegar-parsley sauce that is the salsa (and leading condiment) in Argentina and Uruguay, served with grilled meat. It is made of chopped fresh parsley and onion, seasoned with garlic, oregano, salt, cayenne and black pepper and bound with oil and vinegar.” In Costa Rica, dishes are prepared withsalsa Lizano, a thin, smooth, light brown sauce. In Cuba and the Caribbean, a typical salsa is mojo. Unlike the tomato-based salsas, mojo typically consists of olive oil, garlic, and citrus juice, and is used both to marinate meats and as a dipping sauce. In Peru, a traditional salsa is peri peri or piri piri sauce: “The national condiment of Peru, peri-peri sauce is made in medium to hot levels of spiciness—the more chile, or the hotter variety of chile used, the hotter the sauce. Original peri-periuses the African bird’s eye chile (the African word for the chile is peri-peri). Milder sauces may use only cayenne and serrano chiles. To a base of vinegar and oil, garlic and lemon juice are added, plus other seasonings, which often include paprika or tomato paste for flavor and color, onions and herb—each company has its own recipe. It is also used as a cooking sauce.”

More from Wikipedia

Salsa

Powered by BSurprised WP-WikiBox Creative Commons License From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [+]

Salsa may refer to:

  • Salsa (sauce), any of various sauces of Spanish, Italian or Latin American origin, from the Spanish or Italian word for sauce
  • Salsa music, a fusion of Cuban musical styles based on the Cuban son
  • Salsa (dance), the dance forms corresponding to salsa music
  • [...]

Recipes for Salsa

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    Orange and Avocado Salsa

    This is a really great recipe. Turn it into a complete meal by adding some cooked shrimp. This recipe is well suited for suited for students, ...

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Pantry Source

http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/salsas/history-of-salsa.asp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salsa_(sauce) http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/salsa.html http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/6-20-2006-99913.asp

Image Credit

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/805748

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