Canned tomatoes are typically picked at their peak ripeness, which means they will be more flavorful and sweet. They are then processed within hours of being harvested to maintain the best flavor. There are different types of canned tomato products, however, diced or whole for salsas will achieve the proper consistency. Fresh tomatoes can be used in combination to add texture, however, they are much more watery since they have not be cooked to release some of the moisture. They are however excellent for chunkier dips like pico de gallo.
I love cilantro, but this recipe calls for waaay too much of it. I started out with 2 T., then added another, and then another for a total of about 1/4 C. I used fresh cilantro from my garden and maybe that’s more pungent than the store-bought variety. But, had I used the 2/3 C. which the recipe called for I’m sure it would have overwhelmed all the other ingredients. As it is, the 1/4 C. gave the pico a nice cilantro “presence” while still letting all the other wonderful flavors shine through.
This is pico de gallo, also called salsa fresca. This is not what most people in the States think of when they think of salsa. The salsa you find at Mexican restaurants and the like is usually a salsa roja, which has very similar ingredients, but is usually pureed and is often made by first roasting the vegetables both to bring out their flavors as well as to get them to the desired texture. Many people make it with canned tomatoes as well, which are also cooked, resulting in the kind of "mouth feel" one expects with this kind of a salsa. In short, the title of this recipe "Mexican Salsa" is very misleading and should really be changed, possibly to "Salsa Fresca" if not just calling it pico de gallo.

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When I googled pico de gallo before writing this post, the first thing that popped up was actually a question — just what is pico de gallo?  Translation: in Spanish, it literally means “beak of the rooster.”  I’ve heard all sorts of stories over the years about why this is.  Some say that the bright colors of the salsa resemble a rooster, others say that the diced salsa resembles bird food, others say that “pico” is referring to the word “picante” which means spicy, and on and on.  Lots of theories.  ;)

Let me know how many times you had to slap your hand from eating it ALL! Leave a comment here, find me on Facebook or tag me on Instagram in your main comment at both @veggiesdontbite #veggiesdontbite so I don’t miss it! I respond to all your comments, I’m never ignoring you! And while I respond, I am most likely snacking on this salsa and chips. It’s addicting. But I can stop if I want. Who am I kidding, no I can’t…
I really believe that salsa is best when only a few key ingredients are involved. While there are so many recipes for this dip, literally millions and some with dozens of ingredients, I still believe in my mantra: simple is always best. This recipe is the perfect accompaniment for quesadillas, fajitas, taquitos, or served beside some homemade guac. You name it!
Tomatoes. Choose deeply colored, firm with-with-a-little-give, ripe tomatoes for maximum flavor because this recipe centers around the tomatoes.  We want ripe for flavor but not too ripe or they will get mushy and fall apart.  Also, make sure they smell like a tomato – if they don’t smell then they will taste like cardboard.  You can use plum tomatoes, but I prefer Roma tomatoes because they have fewer seeds to scoop out.
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