Monday, December 5, 2011

Salsa (Shawna and Matt)

photograph by James Hayes-Bohanan

       Onions, peppers, cilantro, tomatos, lime all sound like a yummy combination. Well it is called salsa. It is a very well known Mexican appetizer that is served with many different dishes. From all of the Mexican recipes that are out there we decided to go basic and we chose to make salsa. Many of the main Mexican dishes are made of corn or have a corn base in it. When ever you go to a Mexican restaurant the first dish that is served to you is a dish of chips and a bowl of Salsa. Every person or restaurant makes salsa in different ways. It comes in many different spices. Some are very hot and some are very soothing. In Like Water For Chocolate they include many of these ingredient in a lot of their food. For example in the beginning she is chopping up onions before she goes into labor. The taste all depends upon how the person likes it.  Salsa is one of the easier recipes to make out of all of the Mexican dishes that are out there. It contains a lot of basic ingredients such as your hots and spices.
            Making the Salsa was the easiest part. The salsa consists of onions, peppers, tomato, cilantro, beans and jalapeños. When making the salsa it consisted of measuring out all of the ingredients and stirring them together. But, when you are making the salsa you are in control of how hot you want to make it. If you want it hotter you can just add some more of the hot peppers. Another thing that the cook can control is how chunky or how watery they want the salsa to be. If the audience or the people who are eating the food want it to be more watery all the cook has to do is just let the peppers and tomatos juice sit in the salsa instead of draining it out. After stirring everything together then you can add the salt and pepper. Once we added the salt and pepper we added the cilantro into it to determine how strong of a scent we want in the salsa.
2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), stems removed, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced
1 serano chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 medianas tomates frescos de tamaño (de 1 libra a 1 1 / 2 lb), los tallos y finamente picado
1 / 2 cebolla roja, finamente picada
1 chile jalapeño pimienta (tallos, las costillas, sin semillas), finamente picada
1 chile serrano (tallos, las costillas, sin semillas), finamente picada
Jugo de un limón
1 / 2 taza de cilantro picado
Sal y pimienta al gusto
            After trying the salsa we realized that we had to make a few minor adjustments with the spices because we would have a little too much of one thing in there versus the rest. We wanted everything to be proportional to each other so not one ingredient was too strong. When it came to adding the salt and pepper we had to be careful because too much salt or pepper was going to throw it off. We would put a little in and then we would taste it until we realized that it was perfect that it didn’t make it too strong. Before we added the cilantro to it, it had a very strong smell of onion. That was all you could really smell before we added the cilantro. Once the final product came out it tasted very good. It had just enough spice to it the make it noticeable.
            Salsa was recorded back into the early 1500’s. The Spaniard’s had gotten a hold of the recipe after the war with Mexico. The condiments were mostly served over meat such as lobster or turkey and served at dinner. The recipe had originated with the Aztecs. The word salsa in Spanish is directly connected to the word sauce in English. In America the word salsa was recorded in books in 1962. It was always around but never in writing. Everyone made it his or her own way and different forms that it was never trademarked. (History of Salsa) salsa is a condiment that is served at every meal either before or during the meal. It is used as dipping sauce or it is used to cook with. Salsa is one of the many added spices to Mexican dishes(Parker).
            Not only do they use peppers in Salsa but also Mexican cuisine involves many kinds of peppers. Peppers date back to 1493 in Peru. Once they were found they were cultivated into the millions. The pepper that was used in the recipe was the jalapeño pepper. This pepper is very highly cultivated in Mexico. Not only is it big in Mexico but has recently became a big pepper in America. The jalapeno pepper is used in many other types of cooking for a hot kick to the meal. (Food Gardening Guide)
            Through all of the research that we have done it shows that food is very scared to the Mexican Culture. Not only does the Mexican culture love to eat the food, they cherish the food that they eat every day. After making the salsa you don’t realize how many different ways you can make one type of food. The cook can choose how chunky or how watery they want to make something or how spicy or sweet they want to make a dip. Also that Salsa is used as a tradition before meals. It’s interesting that it all started out but someone making a creation of things thrown together that it would make a huge production line. From the experience of us cooking the salsa it made us realize that food is way more than just something you put in your mouth, that it is also something that is a culture in its own and that people in Mexico dedicate hours and hours of their day spent around food.
Works Cited
Elise. "Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe | Simply Recipes." Simply Recipes Food and Cooking
      Blog. 25 Aug. 2005. Web. 20 Nov. 2011.
"Food Gardening Guide :National Gardening Association." Gardening Resources :
      National Gardening Association. National Gardening Association Editors.
      Web. 08 Nov. 2011.
"History Of Salsa." The Gourmet Food and Cooking Resource.
       Web. 08 Nov. 2011.
Parker, Margaret. "History of Mexican Cuisine." Inner City Conservative Journal.
       Web. 08 Nov.2011.

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