Tropical Mexican pineapple salsa: Salsa de piña
The Pineapple Fair in Loma Bonita, Oaxaca, in the lush, tropical part of the state bordering Veracruz, celebrates months of packing and processing the fruit for world-wide, as well as national, distribution. When buying Mexican pineapples, keep in mind that they stay green after picking, and color, in this case, has nothing to do with the ripeness of the fruit.
Although taken for granted in pre-hispanic America, pineapples gained status after crossing the ocean, becoming such a popular novelty in England that pineapples were rented out for fruit centerpieces. Perhaps the practice of picking them green began with the Spaniards, who had to ship them across the sea before they were propagated in Europe. On one occasion, only one pineapple in an entire shipment to Spain remained in edible condition, and this was served to King Ferdinand, who said it was the best thing he had ever tasted. He would have undoubtedly appreciated the following salsa, which is a fine accompaniment to grilled pork tenderloins.
- 1/2 small pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Makes about 3 cups.
Adding zest to summer's bounty: Salsas de fruta