Pico de gallo is a quintessential Mexican dish yet we often think pico de gallo is just salsa. It’s one of the few dishes in Mexico that doesn’t have a lot of regional variations. It is always finely diced tomato, onion, cilantro, pepper and lime.

You’ll find this fresh salad everywhere in Mexico. It’s sometimes called salsa mexicana or salsa bandera (flag sauce) because the colors mimic the red white and green on the Mexican flag.

It’s also very similar to pebre in Chile, which contains aji peppers and garlic, and is eaten with bread or as a condiment for meat.

Yet no one can agree why it’s called pico de gallo, which translates as beak of the rooster. Some say it is because the dish resembles the colors of rooster’s feathers. Others believe it is from the act of picking food with your index finger and thumb, which resembles a rooster’s beak…

This is an excerpt from the article Pico de Gallo Is Amazing But It’s Not Salsa which originally appeared on http://www.baconismagic.ca/.