Pico de gallo

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Pico de gallo

In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈɣaʎo], literally rooster's beak), also called salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked salad made from chopped tomato, onion, coriander leaves, fresh serranos (but jalapeños or habaneros too), salt, and key lime juice. Other ingredients may also be added, such as shrimp, vienna sausage or squid, avocado, lime juice or apple cider vinegar, cucumber, radish or firm fruit such as mango.

It´s a basic for many dishes as tacos and grills, is considered a perfect filling to corn tortillas but fried tortilla chips is an option, can be transformed easily into guacamole but is not replaced by this.

Pico de gallo can be used in much the same way as other Mexican liquid salsas, Kenyan kachumbari, or Indian chutneys, but since it contains less liquid, it can also be used as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas. Paradoxically the softness and humidity in vegetables used in pico de gallo pairs perfectly with dryness in rind tacos.

The tomato-based variety is widely known as salsa picada (minced/chopped sauce). In Mexico it is sometimes called salsa mexicana (Mexican sauce). Because the colors of the red tomato, white onion, coriander and green chili are reminiscent of the colors of the Mexican flag, it is also sometimes called salsa bandera (flag sauce).

In many regions of Mexico the term refers to any of a variety of salads (including fruit salads), salsa, or fillings made with tomato, tomatillo, avocado, melon, orange, jícama, cucumber, papaya, or mild chilis. The ingredients are tossed in lime juice and either hot sauce or chamoy, then sprinkled with a salty chili powder.


According to food writer Sharon Tyler Herbst,[1] pico de gallo ("rooster's beak") is named thus because originally people ate it by pinching pieces between the thumb and forefinger.

In their book Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico, Rick Bayless and Deann Groen speculate that the name might allude to the bird feed-like texture and appearance of the mince.[2]

Despite these interpretations name seems to be a metaphor to the fact it bite your mouth because of chilli content, or the preparations involves just finely cutting and chopped (picar) infinitely ingredients, is thus a quick recipe. Some people use the expression pico de gallo meaning that something is not an easy task: It`s not pico de gallo.

Health issues[edit]

The pico de gallo is itself healthy food, tasty, and a must in Mexican inspired cuisine, there is not risky ingredients and is consumed fresh because some components can degrade quickly (as tomato) and this changes taste experience. In summer can wait the consumption in a cold table. Considering free consumption, the size of the batches and it easy preparation, just before the meal, rarely needs storing.

In home use the safe and cleanness commonly is upgraded with proper clean and sanitation techniques reducing the cares to control intensity of chilly flavor.

Main article: Salsa (sauce)

In a 2010 press release, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that between 1998 and 2008, 1 out of 25 restaurant-associated foodborne illnesses in the United States with identified food sources had been traced back to restaurant salsa or guacamole.[3] According to a July 13, 2010, news item by journalist Elizabeth Weise, a 2008 outbreak of salmonella in the U.S. was traced back to the peppers used in salsa.[4] Originally reported to the CDC by the New Mexico Department of Health, over the course of several months, the outbreak sickened a total of 1,442 people in 43 U.S. states and resulted in 286 hospitalizations.[5] Weise reported that Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety, found refrigeration was critical to safe salsa; and also that using fresh garlic and fresh lime juice, instead of their more processed equivalents, inhibited the growth of bacteria.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sharon Tyler Herbst, "Food Lover's Companion", 2nd ed., as quoted in Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995: www.Epicurious.com, retrieved 10/3/2007 [1]
  2. ^ Bayless, Rick; Groen, Deann. Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico.
  3. ^ "Salsa and Guacamole Increasingly Important Causes of Foodborne Disease". Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  4. ^ Elizabeth Weise (July 13, 2010). "CDC: Fresh salsa, guacamole linked to foodborne illnesses - USATODAY.com". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  5. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (August 2008). "Outbreak of Salmonella serotype Saintpaul infections associated with multiple raw produce items--United States, 2008". MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 57 (34): 929–34. PMID 18756191. 

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