We had a very important competition in our house this week, something that was a long time coming: a Salsa-off.

No, not this kind of salsa:

I’m talking about the kind that goes well with tortilla chips.

We over-planted tomatoes this year, and there has been much trash-talking between Jim and the younger boy about who could possibly make the very best salsa with our abundance of tomatoes (and jalapenos, which are also in the garden).

Finally, it happened. Of course I documented it.

Innnnn the red cornerrrrr…the Younger Boy!!
(The crowd goes wild!)

Innnnn the blue cornerrrr…his Dad!!
(The crowd goes equally as wild!)

Gentleman, start your engines…

As you can see, the younger boy is already using an unconventional salsa ingredient: lemon. Interesting. His Dad began ridiculing his choice immediately (don’t worry, the younger boy gave it right back to him. They are excellent trash-talkers.) And no, we don’t have a reamer. I really need to buy one.

We’re also having a major difference in chopping methods: knife size and cutting strategy are bizarrely on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Jim made two bowls of salsa, one for the “general public” (the rest of the family) and one for him, which included habaneros as well as HIS secret ingredient, olives.

Jim kept his ingredients chunky, so he finished chopping way earlier than the younger boy. The younger boy prefers a finer texture in his salsa.

See? Chunky…

…and not so chunky!

Let’s see how they finished up. Here’s the younger boy’s salsa, with special ingredients lemon and cilantro.

Here’s Jim’s chunky versions, one with olives and habaneros, neither with lemon or cilantro.

The younger boy is pretty certain he had the winning bowl.

We let the salsas “get happy” in the refrigerator overnight, and the younger boy asked me to judge them the following day. I told him honestly, they both turned out GREAT.

“But which one do you like BETTER??”

“I like them both for different reasons.”


After getting nowhere with me, he called his brother to the kitchen. The older boy doesn’t really enjoy salsa at all, but I told him he had to judge this contest.

He dipped a chip into his brother’s salsa, ate it, and said, “You win.”

The younger boy cheered. “I knew it!!”

I said, “So he wins because his is the first one you tried, and you don’t want to try the other one?”


The younger boy was fine with that, and promptly posted a Facebook status saying that he won. But I know who the real winner is in all of this…


I love salsa.


©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • Rachel

    That's awesome.
    I love that y'all did this! I use lime and cilantro in my salsas adn I LOVE that he used lemon!!!

    Olives? ew. 😉 Only because I don't like olives 😉

    Habaneros however, rock!

  • Heather

    that is hilarious! i have not made my own salsa yet– i keep thinking about it, but part of me is scared cause i am not a fan of anything spicy so i don't know how i'd make to still be yummy without spice!

    although, i'd probably like Jim's version better mainly cause i loooooooooooove chunky salsa!

  • thenextmartha

    Son WINS! Olives? No. Cilantro? ALWAYS. Also, I enjoy the smaller texture too. Oh, and I am the NEXT martha so my vote counts twice.

  • J.R. Reed

    Next time you have a salsa off, or any kind of an "off' for that matter, please let me know. I will hop in my ride and make the roadie to Chi-town to kick some major booty! I can cook like a mo-fo and if you need proof, just ask Jamie from Single Mom Survives. I fed her right!

  • As Cape Cod Turns

    Younger boy had me at lemons.
    I will eat anything with lemons and then he sliced and diced so not too chunky….
    Younger boy wins, sorry Jim!

  • Patty (nycgirl0501)

    My Latina vote goes to Younger boy…you need lemon & cilantro! YUM!

    Though your hubbies must have been good too. Very interesting!

  • PJ Mullen

    I would have chosen the younger boy's salsa. I pretty mine finer and the lemon intrigued me. I'm going to have to try that the next time the wife requests a batch.