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Quick History & Recipe: Mexican Salsas

Ever thought of tacos without salsa?


Salsa and tacos are like peanut butter and jelly - the two complement each other. But today’s blog is not about tacos =(


Not to worry though, we will cover that in another post.


Today we’ll go over the importance of salsa in Mexico’s culinary heritage and three of the most common household salsas that you find in every Mexicans house.


Salsa was born out of the mestizaje (mixing of people from different cultures and ethnic groups) during the viceroyalty period. It combines Pre-Hispanic and European ingredients such as peppers, salt, onion, tomatoes, corn, cheese, etc.


The base for any salsa is always water, chiles, salt, tomatoes and garlic and there are approximately over 1,000 recipes for making delicious salsas for any type of tastes.


Mexicans use salsa in almost every dish that it is served to them and it can make or break your Mexican base. In Mexico, there is a saying that if the salsa is not good then expect the rest of the food to be bad as well. So far we have proven this cultural behavior to be true here in Guadalajara.


But do not despair! We share with you three recipes for different salsas that you will enjoy as they are widely eaten throughout Mexico and are far better than the can or bottle salsa types.

Morita Salsa



-15 morita chiles


-1 Clove of garlic

-Salt to taste.

-½ a glass of drinking water


Toast the morita chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat and wait until they have some dark spots around it. They should give off a smoky and tart scent. If they smell like burning paper then there are not good to eat as they will be very bitter.


After that add the chiles, garlic and salt in a blender with a dash of water. You can also mix them in a molcajete as the GIF below shows.


Taste for seasoning and it's completed!

Tomato Salsa



-1 tomato

-½ of white onion

-2 fresh chile de arbol peppers

-Salt to taste

-½ a glass of drinking water



Peel the tomato and cut it into quarters, then remove the seeds and add it to the blender to set aside.


Rough chop the white onion into quarters and add it to a blender.


Then add  the chiles de arbol, salt and a dash of water into the blender.


Blend until all the ingredients are mixed. Taste for seasoning and now you have a new salsa!

Salsa Borracha (Drunken Salsa)



-10 green tomatoes (tomatillos verdes)

-6 pasilla peppers

-2 garlic cloves

-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

-1 tablespoon of vinegar

-½ a cup of pulque or you can use a light beer (optional)

-1 teaspoon of salt

-3 bay leafs

-100 grams of aged crumbled cheese



Roast the tomatoes and pasilla peppers in a dry skill over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.


Once they have roasted add them into a blender.


Then add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the cheese. Blend until they are fully mixed and then pour it into a bowl. Add the broken cheese and mix.


Give these salsas a try and enjoy!

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