When you think of condiments, what comes to mind? Ketchup, mustard and
other condiments that have been in American culture for a very long
time. Recently, with globalization and the immigration of foreigners to
America, we have seen and tasted foods from all over the world. Salsa
is quickly becoming the most popular condiment in the United States.
According to sales records, salsa is taking over the top spot from
ketchup. Unlike ketchup, salsa is easily made at home and offers a
variety of ingredients and variations. You can increasingly see salsa
being used on a variety of foods. Its successfully integrated its way
into American foods. The other day, I saw somebody adding it to their
Although tomatoes are the main ingredient of salsa, many times, youll
see salsa without tomatoes. Fruit salsa (mango salsa) is becoming a
very popular alternative to the traditional tomato salsa. Originally
used strictly with Mexican food (salsa means sauce in Spanish), salsa
is now being used with such things as eggs, potatoes, burgers and other
foods. Since salsa is so easy to make, you can have many types of fresh
salsa in your refrigerator at all times. If you like especially spicy
food, you can add extra spice to your recipe. Certain cultures that
enjoy spicy food (Indian) also enjoy making and using homemade salsa.
Even cultures that arent used to spicy food (Japanese) enjoy using
salsa (although, a milder version of salsa) with their dishes.
Now, lets turn to the healthy aspect of salsa. With so much flavor,
its hard to believe that salsa is actually very healthy for you. Salsa
adds an extra serving of fruits or vegetables. The only downside of
eating store salsa is that they are typically high in sodium (not high
in fat). When you make salsa at home, there is nothing unhealthy about
it. A tablespoon of a condiment, whether ketchup or salsa, cannot
supply a very large amount of nutrients, no matter what the
But in larger portions, the various vegetables and fruits in salsa can
supply a wide range of antioxidant vitamins, natural phytochemicals
(such as lycopene in tomatoes), and the mineral potassium that is in
such short supply in our diets. Also, researchers have identified a
compound in cilantro, a key flavor component of salsa and a variety of
other dishes, that kills harmful Salmonella bacteria and shows promise
as a safe, natural food additive that could help prevent foodborne
illness, according to a joint study by U.S. and Mexican researchers.
The compound -- dodecenal -- was isolated from the fresh leaves of
cilantro, or coriander, one of the main ingredients found in salsa,
along with tomatoes, onions and green chilies. The compound also is
found in the seeds of cilantro. Both leaves and seeds contain about the
same amount of dodecenal, but the leaves are used more abundantly in
Basically, who doesnt love salsa? So, the next time you think of
reaching for the ketchup, think about grabbing some salsa instead.
Before you know it, salsa will be served with everything.
Salsa Is Good For You By Michael K. Sasaki
Michael K. Sasaki is the founder of RecipeMatcher - www.recipematcher.com , where you can find delicious salsa recipes, crock pot recipes, barbecue recipes and many more.