Why is there vinegar in salsa

Discussion in 'Preserving the Harvest' started by wyld thang, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    because there are lots of onions and peppers in the recipe?

    I want to make a basic puree like the little green El Pato can "jalapeno tomato sauce", but the canned salsa recipes all have vinegar, which just tastes gross to me as a salsa. Yet I know you can make a basic tomato sauce with a bit of garlic and spices and no vinegar needed. Maybe I should just go this direction?

    unless someone has a recipe for salsa without vinegar? I do like some lime juice in it. If I do the basic tomato sauce thing, can I throw in a fresh cayenne pepper for heat and not get off with the acid needs?
     
  2. Ohio dreamer

    Ohio dreamer 1/2 bubble off plumb

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    Yep, it's to off set the non acid things in the recipe. You need to be careful in substituting one acid for another. Read the ingredients on the jar you want to emulate....there is acid in there, too. Maybe you can figure out which one and get close. I'd check the acid, though, before water bath canning.
     

  3. Stephen in SOKY

    Stephen in SOKY Well-Known Member

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    I substitute bottled lime juice for most of my vinegar in Annie's Salsa. IIRC, the bottled lime juice is even more acidic than vinegar. At any rate the substitution has been approved for that particular recipe.
     
  4. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

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    Sauce and salsa are 2 very different things with different guidelines. So if what you want is a pureed tomato and jalapeno flavored sauce (smooth puree, relatively thick) then you can go 1 of 3 different ways. Do you have a pressure canner? Check the El Pato can ingredients. I bet you'll find citric acid listed plus it was pressure canned.

    1) use the Standard Tomato Sauce instructions and add DRIED (not fresh) jalapeno or any hot pepper flakes or powder to taste and the required bottled lemon juice and BWB process it. See http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_03/tomato_sauce.html

    2) use the Spaghetti Sauce Without Meat instructions which calls for 16 cups of tomatoes to 1 cup of diced peppers (all the other ingredients are for flavoring only and can be left out) and pressure can it per the instructions here: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_03/spaghetti_sauce.html

    3) Use one of the 6 or 7 different tomato sauce recipes in the Ball Blue Book like the Taco Sauce or the Red Hot Sauce. They come with various ingredients. Some can be done in a BWB because they call for added acid of some kind but some require pressure canning.
     
  5. upnorthlady

    upnorthlady Well-Known Member

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    I was always told that the reason for adding some kind of acid to salsa recipes, was because if you want to can it in a water bath you need this. If you are planning to use a pressure canner, you don't need the extra acid. If you like lime juice in your salsa, that adds acidity. Instead of vinegar I sometimes use lemon juice in salsa. My salsa recipe is for 18 c. of crushed tomatoes, and I add 1/2 c. lemon juice, along with other ingredients. Then I water bath can it. I was also told by a home economist that late season tomatoes from dying or dead vines do not have the same acidity as vine ripened tomatoes, and therefore you need the extra vinegar or lemon juice or something to increase the acidity in order to use a water bath canner. If I am making salsa from late season tomatoes I always use a pressure canner just to be on the safe side.
     
  6. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

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    There are no approved salsa recipes (sauces, yes, salsas, no) for pressure canning. A safe PC processing time has never been computed for salsa. But even if you elect to PC your salsa, the acid is still required just as it is for tomatoes done in the pressure canner not to mention all the other low acid ingredients in salsa.
     
  7. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No suggestions here WT, but just wanted to say...I love me some El Pato! Yum, yum! It's getting pretty hard to find around here though, and usually it's the yellow can, not the green one any more. If you figure out a good recipe, could I bribe you to share??? :D
     
  8. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    Thanks for all the suggestions, yes, the El Pato stuff is saucy, not chunky--the ingredients at tomato, water, chilis, garlic, jalapenos, spices--its a red puree and not a lot of visible green pepper bits(tho there isn't a way of knowing what their proportions are). The batch of salsa I just made was "salsa" from the Ball canning book. I was just testing the recipe and used half the vinegar called for--I knew I wouldn't like the vinegar taste and more wanted to know how much liquid to add to the tomatoes to get the right pureed consistency after cooking--which that came out right. I think I will start with a basic tomato sauce and add some lime juice and a hotter chili pepper so I don't have to add so much pepper to get the hot/flavor, actually for that matter just a heaping teaspoon of chipotle goo will do that nice.

    no I don't have a pressure canner--hub won't allow one in the house(I know...)

    Yeah, Callie, if I figure it out I'll come back and post it. I think there are three El Pato cans at our grocery store--red, yellow and green. I use the green as a base and add in the chopped fresh tomato, onion, cilantro, avacado etc.

    My main thing is getting away from tomato products in cans. Dunno if El Pato is BPA(?) ok or not(probably not, but it is kosher...ha). But I had a crummy tomato crop this year. BOO
     
  9. Gladrags

    Gladrags Well-Known Member

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    Vinegar in salsa tastes disgusting to me. I substitute the same amount of lime juice, and then add a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice on top of that.