Technically, tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables, and long ago, the Central American hills were covered with rambling tomato vines that produced tasty little berries ranging from green, yellow and orange to bright red. Over time these fruits were coaxed into the larger forms that now flavor everything from soups and stews to sorbets on menus around the globe. One of the tomato’s most popular uses is salsa, a condiment originally devised by the Aztecs, that gets its bite from another New World native plant family: chiles.
Compared to their cousin the sweet bell pepper, chiles are vegetable dynamite. There are more than 150 varieties ranging from the mild serrano to the 10-alarm habanero, and some are hot enough to knock an unwary taster into kingdom come. The volatile oils and potent seeds contained in chiles are the source of their heat, but there’s never been anything better than a sauce laced with fiery chiles to make taste buds stand up and pay attention.
Hormel Foods Beloit Plant Manager Scott Ramlo walks through the process of creating CHI-CHI’S® salsa.
Salsa What’s Inside?
Herdez® Mild Salsa VerdeTomatillos, Chile peppers, Onions, Iodized salt, Cilantro, Xanthan gum – Common in sauces, yogurt and baked goods – it keeps it from separating!
La Victoria® Hot Salsa RancheraTomato puree (water and tomato paste), Tomatoes, Jalapeno peppers, Onions, Water, Salt, Distilled vinegar, Garlic, Modified food starch – Starches used to thicken salsa and increase shelf life.
La Victoria® Mild Pineapple SalsaTomatoes, Pineapple, Water, Tomato paste, Jalapeno peppers, Onions, Brown sugar, Pineapple juice concentrate, Salt, Vinegar, Spice, Citric acid – Naturally-occurring acid found in citrus fruits that adds taste and helps preserve.