May is National Salsa Month, and we at El Charrito are revving things up with some fun facts about salsa. Whether you’re looking to impress your friends at a party with your savvy knowledge (don’t forget to call us to cater) or are trying to get into the mood to make a batch of your own salsa, read on! We have five delicious types of salsa at El Charrito, all of which are made fresh from scratch, and from our family recipes. When you want to eat the best Mexican food (and salsa!) in Monterey County, you can’t go wrong with our incredible authentic Mexican cuisine.

And now, here are four fun facts about salsa.

It’s Been Around Since Before the 1500s

The Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas were big fans of salsa. While we’re pretty sure they weren’t chilling over a plate of chips and salsa while they watched a game, they did make their own version of salsa with chile peppers and tomatoes that they put on meats. Salsa actually means “sauce” in Spanish, and in the 1940s, the chips and salsa dish became a staple in American culture, starting in Texas and California.

#1 Selling Condiment in the United States

You might’ve thought that ketchup was the top-selling condiment in the United States, and while that’s close, the correct answer is salsa. Part of that can be attributed to how easy Mexican food is to make at home. But another factor in its popularity is the sheer number of varieties of salsa on the market. Look on the shelves at your local supermarket, and you’ll find a huge variety of flavors, ingredients, and heat levels. We make five of our own salsas because we know foodies have varying tastes for flavors and combinations, and limits when it comes to heat levels and we want to make sure that everybody leaves happy.

It Tastes Good on Just About Anything

We’d have a harder time finding foods that don’t go well with salsa than listing the foods that do. Mexican food is a given when it comes to the foods that do go well, of course! This month, we challenge you to take home one of our salsas and try it on new foods. Put it on mashed potatoes or a baked potato. Bake a fresh batch of cornbread and put it on top. Use it instead of ketchup on meatloaf, steak, hot dogs, or a hamburger. Or for something more appetizer-worthy, put it on top of a block of soft cream cheese, and spread the mix over crackers. Let your imagination guide you!

It’s Super Healthy

And while we’re on the subject of trying it on new foods, did you know it’s a healthy substitute for other sauces you’d normally use? It’s a great alternative to higher-fat sauces, creams, and dips because it’s made from vegetables and fruits and the calories are much, much lower, while the nutrients are much, much higher. The main ingredients in salsa (tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and onions) pack a huge punch of vitamin C, which has a whole host of healthy benefits. The vitamin A from tomatoes and jalapenos is excellent for your retinal health and thyroid function. And the capsaicin that comes from peppers helps with stomach pain and indigestion. If you’re watching calories, half a cup of salsa only has 40 calories.

Ready to get your salsa on? Stop by El Charrito in Salinas today, where you can order up one of our five amazing salsa to sprinkle over any food to your heart’s content.