We love that months now commemorate foods, especially when salsa is on the menu! Versatile and vibrant, it can be so many things, all of them delicious. Salsa translates to “sauce” so that leaves the door wide open!

At its most basic, you’ll find salsas to be a simple blend (smooth or chunky) of tomatoes or tomatillos, onions, peppers, and garlic. But as a food that’s been a part of various cultures’ cooking traditions for thousands of years, it’s got many variations. You’ve probably come across salsa roja, salsa verde, pico de gallo and others in your travels. Here are the basics on these and more.


Types of Salsa
With so many to choose from, the good news is you can’t go wrong. Any salsa you select will go well with tacos, burritos, our housemade tortilla chips (hint hint) and more.

  • Salsa Roja — This “red sauce” is probably the one you’re most familiar with. It gets its color from ripe, red tomatoes, and also includes peppers, onions, garlic and most likely cilantro. Ranges from mild to hot.
  • Salsa Verde — This “green sauce” typically contains the same supporting ingredients, but the main difference is tomatillos are used instead of tomatoes, which gives tomatillo salsa a brighter, more citrussy flavor.
  • Pico de Gallo — Also known as salsa fresca, pico de gallo is salsa roja’s chunky fresh cousin. It’s made with the same ingredients, but they’re not cooked. It’s all mixed together in a vibrant blend of freshness.
  • Salsa Ranchera — With a tiny tweak or two on red salsa (roast the tomatoes and add Worchestershire sauce) and you’ve got salsa ranchera, also known as salsa inglesa in Mexico.
  • Salsa Criolla — Not all salsas are tomato based. If you’re more of an onion aficionado, chop up some red onions and try this Peruvian variety.

You can also find salsas with ingredients like tropical fruits (think pineapple, mango, and papaya), black beans, corn and more. No matter how you serve it, a salsa adds flavor, fun, heat and a touch of panache!


Look to Market District for a variety of salsa options from gourmet Frontera, Green Mountain Gringo, Herdez and Desert Pepper Salsas to local Crazy Charlie’s (Indianapolis), Frog Ranch (Columbus), Two Ugly Mugs (Pittsburgh) and Sidekicks (Cleveland), as well as our Giant Eagle housemade deli and jarred salsas in everything from black bean and corn and peach mango to thick and chunky, mild, medium or HOT!