Salsas are a mixture of low-acid foods, such as onions and peppers, with acid foods such as tomatoes. Preserving salsas can be tricky because of the low acid and acid foods it contains. The acid foods will protect the low acid foods from spoiling the salsa and becoming unsafe to eat. For this reason it is wise to follow a tested and researched recipe with a processing procedure that will produce a safe product.
When following the tested recipes use the amounts of each vegetable listed and add the amount of vinegar or lemon juice listed. Do not thicken salsas with fl our or cornstarch before canning. After you open a jar to use, you may pour off some of the liquid or thicken with cornstarch. If you plan to make a recipe that is different from the tested ones, then they need to be refrigerated and eaten fresh, or frozen.
Fresh and quality ingredients determine the fl avor and success of a salsa.
The type of tomato used often affects the quality of salsas. Paste tomatoes, such as Roma, have firmer flesh and produce a thicker salsa than large slicing tomatoes. Although both types make good salsas, slicking tomatoes usually yields a thinner salsa than past tomatoes. Salsa can be thickened by adding tomato paste.
When making salsas, be sure to use high quality tomatoes. Don’t use overripe, spoiling tomatoes or those from dead or frost killed vines.
Peppers range from mild to fi ery in taste. Anaheim, Ancho, College, Colorado, and Hungarian Yellow Wax are mild pepper varieties. Choose any of these varieties when a recipe calls for long green chilies.