Refreshingly Simple Pico de Gallo

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Pico de gallo, or salsa fresca, is a wonderfully refreshing, crisp mix of chopped onion, tomato, coriander (cilantro), and fresh chillis, dressed with salt and lime juice.

It’s the perfect complement to heavier dishes, such as my chocolate chilli, loaded nachos, tacos, fajitas, etc. One of my favourite go-to snacks is to have it on its own with plain nacho chips. Yum!

In Mexico, salsa fresca is known as pico de gallo, which literally translates as beak of rooster, or rooster’s beak. I know not why the Mexicans call it that – possibly because it’s a bit on the sharp side?

I’m aware that some folk claim that it’s because people used to eat with their fingers, so the motion of plucking salsa from the bowl resembles a bird pecking at their food. I’m not buying that though, it sounds completely implausible!

And wouldn’t it apply to all foods eaten with the fingers, not just this salsa?

Someone once told me that the spiciness of the chilli is like a chicken pecking your tongue… I have to wonder what kind of relationship he had with his chickens.

**shocked face**

I’m inclined to think that it’s more of a play on words though; picante means hot or spicy, and so I suspect that because like a chicken, spicy food can give you a bit of a nip, this salsa was likened to said avian.

Picante, pico… makes sense to me.

If you know for sure though, do leave a comment, please.

Some people like the ingredients for their pico de gallo to be minced quite finely but I prefer mine rather more chunky. Plus, being perfectly honest, it’s much quicker to make that way.

Yay for lazy salsa-making.

Hey, aren’t we always being told we need to save energy?

What do you mean, not *that* kind of energy?

Oh, fine. 😉

If you’d rather mince, go right ahead – don’t let me stop you!

By the way, plum tomatoes (aka Roma) are less watery than other varieties, and, in my not-so-humble opinion, make a better pico de gallo for use with chips. But if you can’t get them, just use whatever tomatoes you like.

As long as they’re fresh, and not from a tin. Duh.

Refreshingly Simple Pico de Gallo


  • slightly sweet
  • slightly tart
  • slightly spicy
  • crisp
  • fresh-tasting
  • ridiculously easy to make
  • full of Vitamins A (19% RDV) & C (51% RDV)
  • low in fat & calories
  • high in flavour

Whether you have this as a simple appetiser with nacho chips, as a side, or as part of a larger main course, I’m certain that you’ll love it. And because it’s so quick and easy to make, it’s an ideal way to add some zing to weekday meals too.

Buen provecho!

How would you eat pico de gallo?

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