If you’ve ever been to Mexico you probably bumped into an immense variety of salsas, they come in so many different colours, textures, densities… So people often ask me about a certain rules about salsas and my answer would be the same every time: There are no rules when it comes to salsas!
Does it look green or green-ish? You have green salsa! Does it look red, redish (sometimes even orangy)? You have red salsa. That simple!
(With some exceptions of the rule, what you’ll find in taco stalls and street food in general will fall into this no-rule rule).
In some cases you’ll find that the green salsa is made with cilantro, tomatillo, avocado all of them or none. You might find that all the ingredients are raw, boiled, grilled, charred and so on. Sometimes red salsa has a smoky taste due to a mix of dried and smoked chillies. So it will always be hard for you to know exactly what ingredients are in a salsa, but most importantly it is REALLY hard to know what kind of chilli they’re using so you will never know which is the hottest salsa available just from looking at them.
This whole post was written because I know in other parts of the world people usually try to make the green salsa less spicy than the red one. In Mexico you’ll never get this, you can perhaps ask the vendor or waiter about the level of heat in a salsa but then, you’ll have to decide wether you want to trust them or not (we might have a little bit more tolerance to spicy things than you).
No matter how much you think you like spicy food it’s always better to be careful when adding salsas to a dish. Remember: you can always build your way up, but can’t do it backwards, and no one wants to end up with a taco so spicy you can’t eat.
I know this might seem very confusing for outsiders but eventually you get the hang of it, you’ll start having your tricks and ways to decipher which salsa might be the right one for you (and your taco).
Meanwhile I’ll leave you with a very simple recipe of salsa which is not only very easy to make but also my very favourite one. Please do let me know if you try it out.