[Photograph: Lisa Fain/The Homesick Texan]

A few months ago, I came across a tomato-based salsa at a Mexican restaurant that I couldn't stop dipping my tortilla chips in. It had all the major salsa players: tomatoes, onions and chiles. But there was something a little different about this salsa, a spice or herb that I couldn't put my finger on.

It added a touch of earthiness, a little smokiness? What could it be? I finally coaxed it out of our waiter. Cinnamon. Genius.

It made me ponder other secret ingredients to elevate salsa. Cumin, smoked paprika or a touch of oregano? Specific dried chiles, ground pumpkin seeds or roasted garlic?

So what's your secret salsa ingredient?

Some Salsa Recipes We Dig

About the author: Andrea Lynn is a freelance writer/ recipe developer who writes about spicy and Southern food. Her favorite chile is a tie between the mild yet flavorful poblano and the mighty, reliable fire of the serrano. Follow her on Twitter at Alynn27 or get more info at andrealynnfoodwriter.com.


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: