Do you know how many kinds of Mexican sauces there are? Top your tacos with all varieties of this delicious salsa.
You meet your mom during your lunch break to eat at a Mexican restaurant. You sit for a few minutes before the waitress brings out the chips and salsa. She sets four bottles down in front of you and you’re having a hard time telling which is which.
Salsa is more than just an essential for chips. It’s also a great topper for other dishes such as tacos. If you’re unfamiliar with the different types, you may accidentally ruin your entire meal.
To help you liven up your food in the best way possible, here is a quick guide on the different Mexican sauces.
1. Salsa de Chamoy
This Mexican salsa is used to dip fruit in but you can also use it for chips, tacos, anything you want really. It’s made with apricots, mangos or plums (depending on your tastes), lime juice, and chilies.
You can get it at different degrees of spiciness so if you want to put something on your tacos that’s sweet but has a kick, this sauce is the best.
2. Pico de Gallo
Pico de gallo is probably the one sauce on this list that you’re most familiar with. While you can get it at almost any Mexican restaurant and it’s also on the shelf in most grocery stores in America, it’s actually not too common in Mexico.
It’s created with tomatoes, cilantro, onions, jalapeno or serrano peppers, and is covered with a hint of lemon. Pico de gallo doesn’t pack much heat so it’s good if you want to give your tacos a small kick.
3. Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is also very well known sauce. It’s got basically the same ingredients like pico de gallo except it uses green tomatoes instead of red and there is a little bit of garlic thrown in. It’s also prepared a little bit differently. You can get raw salsa verde or grilled.
If you want a sauce that’s a little on the thin side you’ll go with grilled. Grilled salsa verde adds a bit of a smokey flavor to anything it’s put on. If you want your sauce to have a little more consistency so it holds to your taco, getting raw sauce is going to be your go-to.
No matter which type you get, be prepared for a little heat. Despite the fact that it contains many of the same ingredients as pico de gallo, salsa verde is a lot spicier.
4. Guacamole-Style Salsa Verde
If you like the idea of salsa verde but not the idea of the heat that comes with it, you can get the much more mild guacamole-style. It’s got all the same ingredients but vegetable oil is added and the sauce is boiled before it gets liquified. The result is a satisfyingly creamy sauce.
Please note that despite the name, no guacamole is used in the making of this sauce. So, if you get it for the guacamole in the name you’ll be sorely disappointed.
5. Salsa Roja
If a waitress places a red sauce on your table, chances are that it’s this one. It’s very similar to salsa verde except instead of green tomatoes it’s made with red ones and salsa roja also uses red serrano peppers.
The peppers make salsa roja have a little bit more of a kick than the green sauce so you may want to keep a water bottle beside you if you can’t handle your spice too well.
6. Salsa de Chile de Árbol
If you don’t mind a lot of spice, salsa de chile de árbol is a favorite topping for tacos. It’s only made with a few ingredients tomato, garlic, onion, oil, and of course, chile de árbol.
If you’re unfamiliar with chile de árbol, it’s a thin, tiny pepper that packs a huge punch. It’s about 6 times hotter than your standard jalapeno pepper. So, while this salsa it’s not as hot as the next one on this list, it still has a strong kick.
7. Salsa Tamulada
Usually, the thick salsas are the ones that pack a punch because they haven’t been diluted. Salsa tamulada is an exception to this rule. It’s almost transparent when it comes to the consistency but you’re going to want several drinks next to you when you try it.
It’s not as popular as some of the other sauces on this list but it’s still a contender as far as taste goes. It can be orange, coffee colored, red, or green depending on the type of habanero pepper that’s used in its creation.
8. Guajillo Chile Salsa
If you need something to cleanse your palate after the salsa tamulada, guajillo chile salsa will be like a breath of fresh air. Guajillo is a very mild chile and actually brings a fruity flavor to the sauce.
It’s one of the most versatile chiles out there. It goes great on everything from tacos to enchiladas.
Top Your Tacos with Some of These Great Mexican Sauces
Not all Mexican sauces are made the same. They come in varying degrees of spiciness and have different colors and consistencies. Which one you get all depends on your tastes and your dish of choice. Refer back to this guide the next time you’re confused about which sauce you’re putting on your meal so your pleasurable eating experience doesn’t turn sour.
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