National Salsa Month: Celebrate With These Fun Facts

National Salsa Month: Celebrate With These Fun Facts

It’s National Salsa Month! Celebrate with these fun facts that will help you better explore Mexican cuisine and culture while allowing you the freedom to experiment with your own homemade salsas. No matter who you are, there is a salsa out there for you to enjoy, so read to learn how you can participate in the fun this month.

Dip and Dance

When you hear the term “salsa,” you likely associate it most with the sauce you dip chips into, but did you know that salsa also refers to a popular dance from the Caribbean? This naturally begs the question, which came first? Well, you can safely assume that the sauce did come first, with its creation extending back to the times of the Aztecs, Incans, and Mayans. The dance is theorized to be named after salsa due to its vibrant style and moments of intimacy—creating that “spice” or “heat” you expect from actual salsa.

Salsa Varieties

When you think of salsa, do you think of a variety of flavors, or do you imagine classic spicy, tomato-based salsas? The wide world of salsas has an expansive variety that is guaranteed to have something for everyone, from salsa verde made with tomatillos to Morita sauce that uses smoked chipotle peppers for a deep and rich flavor. The heat and spice of salsas are entirely customizable to fit your preferences. In fact, salsa can also be compromised of fruits such as diced berries or lime juice for a sweet and savory salsa. The greatest fun fact for celebrating national salsa month is knowing that salsa can be as individual and unique as the person eating it.

Salsa Origins

While salsa goes way back to the era of the Aztecs, Incans, and Mayans, it was actually Mexican restaurants in the United States that popularized salsa as a table dip in the 1980s. This gave rise to salsa as we know it today and, most often, as the jarred tomato-based salsas that became so popular thanks to these restaurants. The availability and long-lasting shelf life of salsa contributed to its popularity, so much so that in 1992, the value of salsa in the United States exceeded that of ketchup. Since then, tomato-based salsas have found competition in the form of salsas made from fruits or black beans or salsas that augment themselves with nuts and legumes for a greater texture.