Thursday, August 20, 2009

Where salsa comes from (hint: not jars)

Epicurious is a regular stop for me in my Internet food prowl. But this week's Epicurious stopped me cold. It published Taste Test: Salsa, with the testing limited to jarred salsas.

From the article:
Store-bought salsa should be chunky enough that it dresses up a tortilla chip but does not run down the sides. It should be multidimensional, with the sweet flavor of summer tomatoes, some element of onions, and a subtle kick of hot chile peppers to top it off.

"Store-bought" is code for "in jars". One must make accommodations, even concessions, in many circumstances, but salsa from jars?

That's just wrong.

Most especially in the middle of summer, which is the middle of the growing season and the harvest, with fresh tomatoes and other ingredients available most everywhere. Would an Italian buy jarred pesto? Or a Frenchman buy jarred beurre blanc? Or an Indian buy curry in a container?


I was reared in my mom's and my tias' Mexican kitchens, where chopping, dicing and combining tomatoes, jalapeƱos, onions, garlic, cilantro and other fresh ingredients led to salsa. Many of the ingredients were grown in our back yard.

That's where salsa comes from.

1 comment:

  1. Hear hear! I've never met a jarred salsa I like.

    Could you provide us with a recipe for your tia's salsa in a future blog