REPORT: Salsa, which has been America’s favorite condiment since 2000—supplanting ketchup—actually has been a favorite condiment for thousands of years.
The chile has been domesticated since about 5200 B.C.E., and tomatoes by 3000 B.C.E. both in Central America. The two were combined into a condiment, which the Conquistadors named “salsa,” or sauce. The spicy sauce gave name to a hot and spicy late 20th century dance related to the mambo…but that’s just the tail end of the story
Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce, but the food predates the Spaniards by many centuries. Tomato is the base of salsa: The wild tomato is indigenous to Ecuador and Peru, but the Aztecs and other Central American nations were the first to domesticate it. The making of a sauce by combining chiles, tomatoes and other ingredients like onions and even beans has been tell back to the Aztec culture.
We know this from Bernardo Marroquin , a Franciscan missionary sent to Mexico in 1530, after the Aztec Empire was conquered by Hernando Cortes. He remained there for the rest of his life, 62 years. In addition to his missionary work, he undertook scholarly work, including what is now known as the Florentine Codex, one of the richest surviving sources of information on Aztec life before the conquest. His extensive writings documented every food common to the culture Was related to salsa
Tomato Nutrients: antioxidants, carotene, vitamin A and C, potassium and fiber.
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