A Little History about “Salsa”
Although the term “SALSA” was coined by the Spanish, this condiment has been around since long before the Spanish were exposed to it. Possibly as far back as 3000 BC, the Aztecs combined chilies with tomatoes or tomatillos to produce this condiment.
Wild tomatoes are native to Peru and Ecuador. Tomatillos, which are not green tomatoes, are native to the Andes, in the area which is now Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. Domestication of these plants allowed for salsa to become a staple of the Aztec diet. chilies, ground squash seeds, and other ingredients, even beans, were combined with the tomatoes or tomatillos.
The Spanish were first exposed to tomatoes and this dish after they conquered the Aztecs (1519-1521). It was served with venison, wild turkey, lobster, and fish. Some say it was the conquistadores who first called it salsa. Others say it was a Spanish priest and missionary named Alonso de Molina who named it in 1571.
Between 1985-1990 Salsa sales grew some 79% and today, Chips and Salsa are one of the top staples in America.