Salsa is a ubiquitous dip in the U.S., but few of us go beyond using it to spice up some tortilla chips. If you’re on a quest to incorporate more recipes using salsa into your diet, however, you’re likely to come up with a few questions along the way. Here are answers to five of the most common:
- What Is Salsa, Exactly?
There are many different types of salsa, of course, and sometimes all they have in common is the name. Do tomatoes have to be the base ingredient? Do they have to be spicy? Do they have to be used in certain applications? The bottom line is that even food experts can’t agree on all these questions. In practice, there’s not much difference between salsas, relishes and chutneys except the cuisines they’re typically incorporated into.
- Is Salsa Healthy, or Not?
Salsa is actually extremely low in calories (about 20 per 2-tablespoon serving, depending on the kind), making it an excellent way to add flavor to your diet while you’re trying to shed some of that winter weight. The reason that people snacking on salsa tend to gain weight is because of the chips, not the salsa.
- Should I Make My Own?
Making salsa isn’t difficult, and of course you’ll get a wider range of options if you’re willing to start from scratch. But canning at home takes experience and the right equipment, and you may find it’s simply more work than its worth, given that grocery-store versions are both delicious and affordable (and generally no less healthy than homemade versions).
- How Long Does Salsa Last?
How long does salsa last in the fridge after opening? You should check the date on individual jars to know for sure, but in general it will be fine for a few weeks as long as it’s tightly sealed and kept cold.
- Can You Freeze Salsa?
This preservation-related question is closely related to the preceding one. Can you freeze salsa? Yes. Do you want to? Maybe not. Freezing alters the texture of tomatoes due to the crystallization process of water, leaving them mushy. So unless you’re simply planning to pop some salsa in a soup for flavor or something along those lines, it’s better to buy smaller containers or find more ways to use your salsa up faster.
What other questions do you have about this delicious dip/topping/side dish/flavoring? Join the discussion in the comments.