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Making Salsa Fresca- Peel the Tomatoes?

I'm looking at a few salsa fresca recipes and some call for peeling the tomatoes first. Not particularly swayed either way, but wondering what some opinions are pro or con.


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  1. Yes, peel 'em.
    Some of the most celebrated professionals don't peel their tomatoes for salsa fresca but, IMO, they have little or no class.

    2 Replies
    1. re: todao

      I used to, but gave up on it. I think it depends on the tomatoes. When I use garden fresh tomatoes, the skins seem very tender and are fine in salsa. But supermarket tomatoes are a different story.

      1. Not Peeling:
        Pro - it will help with the structural integrity if you are dicing the tomatoes.
        Con - harder to chew correctly if your back teeth are missing

        Pro - smoother if you are also peeling the skin off of your peppers
        Con - time and effort aren't really worth it (IMO)

        I wouldn't peel anything, and since I keep my blades ultra sharp, I'd pulse each ingred in a food proc. The effort to peel just isn't worth it in my eyes. I'm sure some / perhaps more than some will disagree. Just my preference.

        1. Don't peel, IMHO. Adds a bit of rustic to the salsa fresca. It's part of the vegetable that is consumed in this case. Just enjoy!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mst917198

            Tritto on the no-peel, for the reasons listed in the other posts.

          2. Peeling makes a nicer texture, but is a fair bit of work. I peel if I'm doing it for a party, but don't if I'm making something quick for dinner.

            I do save the seeds and peels when I do it, though, and toss them in the freezer for addition to soups.

            1. Nah, don't peel. I peel when I'm doing something cooked like a pasta sauce; in that case, the slow-cooked skins curl up, get tough and stick in the teeth. In a fresh salsa cruda which is eaten mere hours after you make it, peeling serves little purpose.

              1 Reply
              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                I agree...it's like slicing tomatoes for a salad or a sandwich. I don't peel.

              2. I always peel. If the skins are thin, it isn't absolutely necessary, but thick bits of peel can end up stuck between your teeth or on the roof of your mouth. Since peeling is so easy - ten seconds in boiling water and the skin slips right off - I figure it's worth the trouble.

                Then again, I also remove the seeds, pulp, and core. To each his/her own.

                1. I usually peel, espescially if using Roma tomatos as they have a thick skin. If the tomatoes are summer, garden fresh and really ripe, then not so much.

                  1. Do most of you use roma tomatoes for salsa?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Veggo

                      Romas or another "paste" variety. Slicing tomatoes are too juicy.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        I don't use Roma. I like the juice. Actually, I don't know which variety I use. Whichever is currently ripe in the garden or whichever looks good at the farm. I've even made salsa with tinned fire-roasted whole tomatoes in the winter. Drained. tho. Tasty salsa is the sum of All its parts.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            We mostly use Romas because, out of season, we think they're the better choice. But you have two tomato seasons, don't you?

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Yes, but I always use romas for salsa and always use vine tomatoes for gazpacho. The few salsa recipes I have seen don't specify a tomato preference, which surprises me.

                          2. In all my eating in Mexico and Southern California, I have never come across a peeled version. I never peel but I think it is a personal preference.