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Salsa served warm?

I was recently at a Mexican restaurant and the hot salsa was...well...hot. Like it had been deliberately warmed up.

I'm not an expert on Mexican cuisine, so I thought maybe this was an aspect of Mexican cuisine I was unfamiliar with. The restaurant was billing itself as upscale, gourmet Mexican food, so I wondered if I was just out of the loop on what that way. Despite the restaurant's pretense, the meal was completely blah and flavorless.

Is this a normal part of Mexican cuisine? Or was it just food I didn't like served at a restaurant that's not very good?

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  1. Was it a cooked sauce? Then I could see it, although it seems unusual. If it was a salsa cruda, heating it would defeat the purpose for me.

    1. I don't think i would like salsa served hot. I have alway had it with a sight chill or right out of the jar.

      1. I have indeed had warm salsa served to me a couple of times. It was more of a spiced cooked tomato puree as grayelf mentioned. The Mexican restaurants I go to range from Chipotle to the more authentic restaurants to the upscale, gourmet ones. Unfortunately I don't remember where I've had it.

        1. I'm in Chicago with a pretty dense Mexican population. There are PLENTY of places that serve one of their salsas warm. Usually (here) it will be a roasted chile de arbol salsa. We have lots of places that will welcome you with two or three different styles of salsas when you are seated at your table. Not a surprise if you were here that one of them would be warm.

          Having salsa warmed will not make it bad. The taste of the salsa would make it bad. If it's normal or not, I wouldn't dare answer, I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable. I would assume, however, that it is a normal regional thing in some parts of Mexico. Sounds like the "Gourmet Mexican" place you went to was just plain bad. Food that is "blah and flavorless" is not a normal regional Mexican style. Just because someone calls their food gourmet, doesn't mean it is.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gordeaux

            If Mexican salsa is fresh, fresh, it will be room temperature because all the ingredients are unrefrigerated at the time of purchase, which hopefully happened that morning at the green grocer. And tomatoes taste best at room temperature. Chilled mexican salsa is like day-old bread; it has seen a better day, and is struggling for a second chance.

          2. For salsa, I don't mind room temperature...but I have never had it hot...