Salsa, the Sauce, not the Dance!
Marty Martindale

Salsa is almost as important to the Latino culture as chutney is to East Indian communities. North Americans, slow to salsa
cultivate “ethnic” food, seem to be adapting more to salsa than chutney lately. Basically each is a healthy, savory relish, or side,  served to compliment certain other foods prepared for family meals. See Foodsite Magazine’s article, BUILD YOUR OWN CHUTNEY for similarities. 

To generalize, it is probably safe to say Indians lean more strongly on much more spicing, while the Latin community uses some spices and many variations of hot chile pepper with less variation in vegetables or fruits. The making of of a sauce by combining chiles, and other ingredients like squash seeds and even beans into a tomato base, has been traced back to the Aztec culture.

Centuries back, maybe to 3000 BCE, the Incas, Mayas and Aztecs were experimenting with tomatoes and chiles from northern South America up into Mexico.

  • Salsas, really like relishes, can be raw, cooked, pureed or chopped coarsely.
  • Salsa cruda is an uncooked veggie mixture laced with coriander.
  • Salsa verde is a sauce of tomatillos and herbs.
  • Salsa negra is made from dried chilis, oil and garlic.
  • Salsa taquera, taco sauce is made from tomatillos and morita chili.
  • Salsa Criolla originated in South America and has an onion base.
  • Many red salsas, such as Ranch-style sauce and salsa brava are highly-spiced tomato relishes.
  • Guacamole salsa has an avocado base, spices and chile.
  • Mole salsa is very savory and contains almonds, bitter chocolate and spices.
  • Fruited salsas, made from mango or pineapple, are sweeter, often accented by the heat of chilis.
  • Chipotle salsa is made from smoked julapeno chilis.


Store all salsas in the refrigerator when not in use. Fresh lime juice and fresh garlic are known to retard spoilage.



  • Allspice
  • basil
  • cayenne
  • chervil
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • paprika
  • salt
  • sugar
  • Tarragon



  • Adobo Sauce
  • Chiles (All)
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Cilantro
  • Citrus Zest, Juice
  • Mint
  • Mustard
  • Olive Oil
  • Parsley
  • Vinegar



  • Almonds
  • Avacado
  • Beans
  • Capers
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Gherkins
  • Mango
  • Mushroom
  • Onions
  • Papaya
  • Peppers
  • Pineapple
  • Squash Seeds
  • Tomatillos
  • Tomato


Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

Comments are closed.