Have you ever noticed that salsa purchased at a Mexican restaurant tastes delicious, while store-bought and your homemade salsa taste a little different?
People tend to love restaurant salsa more than other types of salsa, but why does it taste better?
Restaurant salsa can taste better because they often use fresher ingredients, the chefs have lots of knowledge on how to balance flavors and are experts in creating that authentic salsa flavor.
Let’s take a look at seven reasons why restaurant salsa tastes so great.
1. Fresher Ingredients
When people make salsa at home, they don’t always use the freshest ingredients. Some of them even use canned tomatoes, which changes the entire taste of the salsa.
Restaurants, on the other hand, always use the absolute freshest ingredients when making their salsa, and that makes a huge difference in the final product and can make restaurant salsa taste better.
2. A Better Knowledge of the Product
If you go to a Mexican restaurant, you’ll notice it is staffed with people who actually know what Mexican food is supposed to taste like, including salsa.
Some even use family recipes that are very old, and this knowledge of the product goes a long way in helping make the very best salsa in the end.
3. The Preparation is Different
Restaurants often take lots of care when preparing the ingredients. Extra steps like roasting the vegetables and adding the right spices will help to make salsa taste the best.
All of these little things add up to a delicious salsa in the end because each step of the preparation process has to be done perfectly.
4. The Ingredients May be Different
There are tons of salsa recipes out there, and some are better than others. They are all made differently and made with different ingredients.
Once you get the right ingredients instead of just throwing things together, the salsa comes out extra delicious. Adding fresh cilantro, roasted garlic and fresh tomatoes are all great ways that chefs add flavor to their salsa.
5. The Seasonings Can Be Different
Adding just the right amount of salt to your salsa can be tricky. Both the spices and the salt have to be in the right proportions, and a restaurant always knows what those proportions are.
This another one of the reasons restaurant salsa tends to taste better.
6. Cooking Methods are Different
The preparation is often different with restaurant salsa, but the entire method may be different as well.
Pressure cookers, dicing methods and fancy machines like the Thermomix can all be ways that chefs will infuse flavor into their salsa.
From start to finish, it isn’t just the recipe that is unique, but the way they prepare the food, handle the food, and cook the food. The whole process is unique.
7. They May Have Different Resources
Restaurants have access to food distributors you might not have. This includes wholesale food stores and stores that specialize in these ingredients.
All of these things add up to an exceptional-tasting product when they’re done.
Check out this great video to find out how to make restaurant style salsa at home.
5 Ways to Make Store-Bought Salsa Taste Better
If you are not heading out to a restaurant you can still make store-bought salsa taste a little better. Below are a few ingredients you can add to do just that.
Adding nuts to your salsa can make the salsa delicious. Crush the nuts to add extra texture and flavor.
Nuts work the best in bean-based or dry-chili salsas, and some of the best nuts include peanut butter, cashew butter, tahini, and pepitas ground into a paste.
2. More Veggies
Vegetables such as charred poblano, bell, and chili peppers, as well as roasted fruit and charred corn kernels improve both the taste and the texture of your salsa.
To add more of a kick to your salsa, add minced pitted green olives, minced capers, and foods similar to these. Add some cinnamon or cumin for an even splashier taste.
Fruit is a great addition to any type of salsa, but always make sure the fruit is fresh. For the best taste, try fresh lime juice, lemon juice and cucumbers.
Certain fresh spices can pep up your salsa quickly. Try spices such as coriander seed, cumin, and cinnamon for the best results. If you can’t find the fresh variety, at least choose a reputable brand that has been freshly packed.
What Brand of Salsa Tastes Most Like Restaurant Salsa?
There are numerous brands of store-bought salsas that taste a lot like restaurant salsa. Keep in mind that there are many different types of salsa, including red, green, cooked, uncooked, chunky, smooth, and so on.
But when put to the test and certain brands were tested by food experts, below are the six main “winners” of the competition:
- Chi Chi’s Medium Thick and Chunky Salsa
- On the Border Medium Salsa
- Tostitos Restaurant Style Medium Salsa
- Pace Salsa Verde
- Nature’s Promise Organic Medium Salsa
To be sure, if you want authentic restaurant-style salsa, there are numerous brands that have “restaurant style” right in the name of their salsa, and these are usually the best ones to choose.
What Type of Salsa Do Mexican Restaurants Use?
Most real Mexican restaurants make their own salsa and will not use salsa from a jar. They know how to get the right types of tomatoes and the freshest tomatoes because they know where the wholesale food centers are that cater to Mexican restaurants.
Most Mexican restaurants make a tomato-based salsa, although other types of salsa are usually on their menu and can be requested.
Does Cooking Salsa Change the Taste?
Cooking salsa does in fact change the taste of salsa, as well as the texture in some cases. While both cooked and raw salsa are delicious, cooked salsa usually results in a thinner and sometimes less seasoned salsa because the ingredients are cooked down some.
It’s a good idea to try both methods if you want to know which one will taste best to you.
How Do You Make Salsa More Flavorful?
Salt and spices are the two ingredients that make salsa more flavorful. It sounds simple enough, but the right amount of each of those spices must be included in the salsa for it to be flavorful.
Why Does Restaurant Salsa Taste Better? | Summary
Restaurant salsa can taste better than storebought because it will be full of fresh ingredients, perfectly balanced and freshly made. You can improve store bought salsa by adding fresh lime and lemon juice to make it taste zingy.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.