I am trying to think when salsa hit the American market in a big way. It seems to me that it was the late 1970s because I am thinking that Doritos came into my life about the same time. Maybe 1976?
Not to say that I hadn’t had salsa before. There was this mom and pop Mexican restaurant that my dad and I went to a lot. It was a simple place without a lot of extras as far as decor. The food was incredible. Somehow they infused flavor into food in a way that no one else had, somehow they coaxed the most delicate flavors to reveal themselves in ways that you didn’t expect. The salsa was fresh and red, made with bright, ripe tomatoes, fiery jalapenos, and mounds of earthy cilantro. Putting that salsa in your mouth was like taking a summer day and eating it.
Salsa has evolved over the years, changing from a simple, tomato based condiment to something that it seems chefs and home-cooks attempt to make from every ingredient possible. Blueberry salsa, honey dew salsa, peach salsa, and the list goes on. Maybe salsa is overdone or maybe it is just that versatile. I can tell you that I haven’t tired of the fresh flavor and burst of color it adds to a plate!
This is a simple salsa; there aren’t very many ingredients. It is sweet and tangy and, best of all, it makes that chunk of grilled meat on your plate look fabulous. Don’t make more of it at once than you will eat – the berries start looking a little bloated and sad by day two.
images (c) marye audet 2011 all rights reserved