In Spanish and Italian, salsa is just a generic word for “sauce”. Like how chai means “tea”, so “chai tea” is redundant.
Salsa overtaking ketchup as America’s No. 1 condiment was just the start.
These days, tortillas outsell burger and hot dog buns; sales of tortilla chips trump potato chips; and tacos and burritos have become so ubiquitously “American,” most people don’t even consider them ethnic.
Preferably the salsa is home made, because of the preservatives in stuff on the shelf. But depending on what you make it with, it is certainly healthier than ketchup (about vitamin k, or how much it’d take to kill you).
The uptake of Hispanic food isn’t surprising when Spanish is generally considered the second language of the US, just unlike how Canada has both English and French. But another aspect of the interest in spicy food/sauce, stuff like tabasco, sriracha…
Chili was originally a peasant dish. It was almost always vegetarian because meat is expensive. Beans are a wonderful cheap source of protein. That said wonderful chili can be made, sans beans.
Whatever way you make it, for those times when your chili comes out a bit runny—more like soup than a hearty stew…
The Potato Masher
Unlike some quirky cooking utensils, every kitchen is bound to have a potato masher. And this does not add any ingredients! Just mash a little so that the ingredients break down, releasing their natural starches will help thicken the excess liquid.
Masa, Cornmeal, or even Polenta
Add a little water to a couple of tablespoons of masa flour, stir it in at the end of cooking. As mentioned, cornmeal or polenta would be good substitutes.
Tortilla or Tortilla Chips
It’s common to use these to thicken soups. Tear or break into small pieces before stirring in.