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whoose October 11, 2016 09:59 AM

Secret Ingredent for Salsa?
Secret Ingredent for Salsa? I have found through exhaustive experimentation that good old canned tomato juice really adds that missing ingredient.

What is you secret?

MarianneW October 11, 2016 10:01 AM

Key limes.

Fair disclosure, I usually make guacamole and not salsa. Loving aji cristal chiles right now.

ContainerTed October 11, 2016 10:58 AM

Good ole' "Homemade" tomato juice made from Heirloom and OP tomatoes with excellent taste. Commercially sold tomato juice is made from roma type tomatoes and is too bland for me. Had a small glass over at my great-nephew's this past spring and couldn't get past the first sip. I made the 22 mile round trip back to my house and took him a dozen of my homemade quarts. He poured out the commercial can.

heirloomtomaguy October 11, 2016 11:35 AM


Worth1 October 11, 2016 11:53 AM

I make way too many flavors to even consider making a statement on secret ingredients for salsa.
But one thing I would like to mention when it comes to Mexican food like this.
It almost always involves a lime in one way or another.
Something sadly missing from most Tex-Mex restaurants.
I will either put lime juice in salsa and or citric acid and sometimes asorbic acid.

Gerardo October 11, 2016 12:10 PM

To keep them alive longer, most places add vinegar to their tabletop offerings, which usually makes them RT stable for the day.

A pinch of oregano and cumin (yeah HTG) can definitely improve things.

You can experiment with the different types of citrus to see which one suits your palate best, there's variety within the "green" lemons/limes in terms of acidity-sweet-bitter.

You can use yellow lemons, they impart a different profile. My citrus tree at home puts out yellows, they make outstanding lemonade.

Disclaimer: I've never used canned tomatoes for salsa, so can't really comment.

Worth1 October 11, 2016 12:25 PM

I cant stand vinegar in salsa and is the reason I use citric acid instead.
Vinegar is also the main reason I cant stand most chorizo made here.

lavanta October 11, 2016 07:31 PM

Chili powder (others already alluded to cumin but this covers all the bases)

Cole_Robbie October 11, 2016 07:34 PM

I put bell peppers in mine, usually yellow or orange.

kurt October 11, 2016 08:18 PM

Down here in our Latin quarters the most common in all the mixes and after questioning these seem to be a basics.
Cilantro,minced is a must.
Garlic almost invisibly minced.
Persian and or Key Lime juice.
Any old mater(red) that is at least diceable for texture.This will give you the red.
Tomatillos show up alot as a stiffener to hold the mix together.
Seasoning, for individual(cultural) tastes.
My favorite in the mix some Morugas,Scorpians(sans seeds),dredged via a cheesecloth infusion that should be timed and removed or left longer if brave enough.
We drain the diced maters so as not to make it mushy(is that a word?).

oakley October 11, 2016 08:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I make salsa every Sunday night this time of year starting early August. It is important to me that it is from my garden, nothing canned, bottled, or processed. Except for the few last tweaks after a final tasting.

Using garden fresh i may have different tomatoes, different peppers, etc. So it is always slightly different but my key ingredient is a smoked pepper mix. Just a 1/2 pint of my frozen smoked and add fresh cilantro, (with the stems!), fresh toms, fresh garlic, (some garlic is in my smoked mix but that is smoky sweet). Some fresh red sweet pepper sometimes, and fresh hot pepper. Lots of fresh lime, and i do use good vinegars. I make my own from my apple and Asian pear trees. If it needs a sweetness to balance the acid i use my maple syrup, just a touch. (we tap our trees)

Pic is this past Sunday's batch. I like a wet salsa. Not thick and ketchup-like. Never heated...and it freezes beautifully.
(i take a pint into work every Monday and it is a stampede when announced...NewYorkers are a tough crowd....they LOVE it).

This batch had fresh roasted corn.

greenthumbomaha October 11, 2016 10:09 PM


Originally Posted by whoose (Post 595638)
Secret Ingredent for Salsa? I have found through exhaustive experimentation that good old canned tomato juice really adds that missing ingredient.

What is you secret?

Canned tomato juices have a ton of added salt. You can let some of your toms simmer longer than the rest of the tom/vegetable mix to make your own reduced juice. I'll have to try some of the above tips next year. I just made a little bowl of salsa. I hope it lasts for a while. Tomorrow comes the freeze.


berryman October 13, 2016 01:32 AM

roasted whole garlic

dmforcier October 13, 2016 10:10 AM


Or at least lust.

Cheryl2017 October 13, 2016 10:15 AM

beer and sugar.

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