Salsa is a popular dish served across the United States, as well as in multiple countries across the globe. But, where exactly does it come from? This is an interesting question that illustrates the magic of food and its role in our society, and that’s because it’s kind of tricky to answer! So, if you consider yourself a fan of salsa, or perhaps you just enjoy a little trivia now and again, let’s explore the fascinating history of a simple, delicious dish together before jumping into the best mango salsa you’ll ever eat!
When it comes to a dish like salsa, tracing its origin is a lot more tricky than one would think. While historians believe it was enjoyed, at least in some capacity, during the existence of the Mayan civilization, there’s a bit more to it than that. Evidence of the dish has been linked to both the Incan Empire as well as the Aztec Empire, and each culture adapted the dish in different ways to suit their unique cultural tastes. Later Spanish involvement in these cultures also played a significant role in how we got to the salsa we enjoy today, transforming the dish in the mid-16th century and even changing the name to the one we know now, “salsa,” which is Spanish for “sauce!”
While salsa traditionally consisted of a variety of uncooked fruits, vegetables, and spices, exploring the different ingredients used in various salsa recipes can tell us a lot. In fact, most of the foods we know and enjoy every day have been shaped by various cultures throughout history. What kinds of stories can be told through the foods we eat? Food history is the way to find out! Food history is a fun and interactive way to connect with cultures. So, next time you sit down to enjoy a nice homemade meal or even a quick snack, it may be fun to explore its history while you eat!
Today, we’re sharing a sweet and simple salsa recipe that combines flavors and traditions from a variety of sources, including ancient Mesoamerica, Mexico, and even India! If you’re interested, you can learn more about the Latino roots of American foods and how they’ve transformed over the years by checking out this study published by the National Park Service. But, in the meantime, let’s get into our recipe for spicy mango salsa that you definitely don’t want to miss!
This recipe is quick and easy to make, and you only need to grab a handful of ingredients to enjoy its sweet blend of fresh flavors. You’ll need: two medium to large mangos, a large red bell pepper, one jalapeño pepper (or more if you want a stronger spice), a small lime, and a bunch of fresh cilantro.
Making this salsa isn’t complicated since it’s inspired by salsa fresca, the uncooked cousin of salsa. So, go ahead and get your produce rinsed and ready for cutting!
For the mangos, peel off the skin and cut the meat of the fruit into small cubes. Then, mince the red onion and prepare the peppers. You may want to wear gloves when working with peppers, especially the spicier ones. If you haven’t had the misfortune of suffering from jalapeño hands, you’ll definitely want to keep it that way! Remove the seeds from the red pepper and the jalapeño and mince the peppers into small cubes.
After most of the ingredients have been prepped, roughly chop the cilantro and slice the lime in half before adding everything (except the lime) to a medium-sized bowl.
Squeeze the juice out of the halved lime onto the other ingredients and sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Then, mix until the ingredients are well-distributed.
Serve your salsa fresh or chill for later and enjoy!
This super simple recipe is packed with flavor and history. Plus, it only takes about 10 minutes to make! Pair it with a plate of warmed corn tortilla chips, serve it on top of fried fish tacos, or use it to add some color and spice to a refreshing salad!
We hope you enjoyed this spicy mango salsa recipe. If you’re interested in seeing more easy recipes like this one, be sure to follow Table & Thyme on Instagram where we share delicious food content daily! You can also tune in to our blog for more of our favorite recipes, event highlights, hosting guides, and more!
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