Authentic Mexican Homemade Salsa

*I messed around with the settings on my camera, and the result was this ghastly skin tone. Its as though Casper had a bad experience at the tanning bed!

The word "salsa" actually means sauce in Spanish, but interestingly, it predates the Spaniards by a few hundred years. It is a condiment that can be traced back to the time of the Incas and Aztecs, and it is only after conquistadors arrived in this hemisphere that the sauce got its name. Until this time, the Spanish world had never been exposed to the tomato plant.

Due to its high levels of alkaloid, a nitrogen compound that can be toxic if consumed in large quantities,
Europeans considered the tomato plant to be poisonous, and therefore unfit to eat. However, today we know that tomatoes have many health benefits. They are rich in Vitamin A, it's juice is said to assist in liver function, vision, and morning sickness and it is low in carbohydrates. When buying tomatoes, try to stick with organic as this plant is extremely susceptible to contamination by pesticide.

Now to the salsa! My mother-in-law lived in Mexico for about 10 years and while visiting her there, she showed me how to make authentic homemade salsa. We did not use a blender, nor did we roast the tomatoes, but I remember sitting at her kitchen table and seeing how meticulously she chopped all the ingredients. She stressed that everything needed to be chopped as small as possible! We devoured the salsa, and then I was off to a pig roasting party (in dirt) and a donkey ride around the ranch.

The first modification I made to her recipe was to use the blender, but if you do not have one, no worries! If you do have a food processor, this recipe is easy as pie as the food processor does all the work for you! The second modification I made was thanks to Becky who taught me to roast the tomatoes and peppers. I can't begin to describe how much this little step enhances the flavors of the sauce. You have to experience it to understand. Let me know what you think!

Authentic Salsa

6 plum tomatoes
1 jalapeno
1/2 a purple onion, roughly chopped
handful of cilantro
juice of 3 limes (more if they aren't juicy)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes and pepper on a cookie sheet and roast until all sides begin to blacken, or the skin begins to separate. Turn tomatoes and peppers every 4-5 minutes.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and blend to desired consistency.

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