As we have seen in a previous post, chili peppers are one of the most important ingredients in Mexican cuisine. Mexicans love their chili peppers, and salsa (sauce) is one of the most creative ways in which they display their affection.
Salsas are as old as Mexican cuisine. So much so that the molcajete, the utensil used to make salsas, is a symbol of Mexican culture. How are molcajetes made? How many types of salsas are there? Read on to discover the answers to these and other salsa mysteries.
What Is a Molcajete?
A molcajete is a mortar made of volcanic stone (you can see one in the picture above). Molcajetes have been used in Mexico for at least one thousand years to ground chili peppers and other spices to make salsas. Nowadays most Mexicans make their salsas using blenders, but everyone agrees that nothing beats fresh “salsas molcajeteadas”, that is, salsas made in a molcajete.
More than kitchen utensils, molcajetes are a symbol of Mexican culture. Some small towns have specialized in producing molcajetes, which are still carved by hand. Most molcajetes are made in the states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla and Mexico.
Three Types of Salsas
Your own imagination is the only limit when it comes to making salsas. Dominga Guzman’s cookbook, one of the oldest in Mexico, was written in 1750 and contains recipies for 16 different types of salsas, including tomato salsa, lime salsa, mustard salsa, egg salsa and, of course, guacamole.
The current number of salsas regularly made in Mexico is unknown. Salsas can be divided into three types: Raw, boiled and mixed. Green Salsa and Salsa Mexicana are examples of raw salsas. Among the boiled salsas, Ranchera and Salsa Endiablada (that is, “Deviled”) come to mind. Escabeches, Adobos, and “Drunk” Salsa fall into the mixed salsas categories.
At El Pollo Norteño we love how great salsas enhance the flavor of any dish, adding a touch of color and excitement to your meal.
Visit today any of our four locations (Anaheim, Santa Ana and Garden Grove), order online, get in touch through Facebook, or call 866-MI-POLLO to enjoy our authentic salsas and our great Mexican dishes: tacos, burritos, tortas, birria, our amazing chicken grilled to perfection over real Mesquite charcoal, and more!