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May is National Salsa Month, and since we recently took a look at the three most popular salsas, we’re going to do something different in this post. The word salsa means “sauce” in Spanish, so it actually encompasses more than what you’ll find in the salsa aisle of the grocery store or served with tortilla chips at your favorite Mexican restaurants in Manchester, NH. To the differences between what we call salsa and other Mexican salsas, we’re going to compare salsa to mole, another popular sauce.


If salsa means “sauce,” why are salsa and a sauce like mole so different? Let’s find out.


Ingredients and Flavor

Anyone who has eaten both salsa and mole knows they taste very different. That comes down primarily to the ingredients that go into them. Salsa is made from fresh ingredients, including tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions. Sometimes, the ingredients are cooked, as with salsa roja or verde, but not always. For example, pico de gallo counts as salsa, but the ingredients are left raw. Mole, on the other hand, is much more complex, and the ingredients are always cooked down. Both salsa and mole use chili peppers, but that’s where the similarities end. Mole also includes nuts, seeds, spices, chocolate, and even dried fruit. The result is a thick and rich sauce distinct from salsa.


Preparation Time

Although salsa sometimes includes cooked ingredients, it is still quick and easy to prepare. In the case of pico de gallo, the preparation only requires chopping the ingredients and mixing them together. Making mole, however, is labor-intensive and requires several steps and a lot of time. The ingredients have to be roasted and ground and then left to simmer for a while so the flavors can develop.


Usage and Serving

As we’ve mentioned above, the way we use and serve salsa and mole is also different. In general, salsa is a condiment, while mole is a sauce for main dishes, especially grilled meats. There is some overlap, as it’s not uncommon to find chicken or fish dishes served with salsa. But it’s unlikely you’ll see anyone dip their tortilla chips in mole anytime soon.


Visit Vallarta Mexican Restaurants in Manchester, NH!

Although it’s hard to pinpoint why the general word for “sauce” stuck with what we call salsa, it certainly doesn’t take away from all the other delicious sauces. At Vallarta Mexican restaurants in Manchester, NH, we serve food that features all your favorite salsas and sauces, and even a few you may not have tried before. Come visit us to give them all a try!


Visit Vallarta Mexican restaurants in Manchester, NH, to enjoy your favorite dishes or try something new! You can also enjoy your food at home with online ordering.