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In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈɣaʎo], literally rooster's beak), also called salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked salad made from chopped tomato, onion, coriander leaves, fresh serranos (but jalapeños or habaneros too), salt, and key lime juice. Other ingredients may also be added, such as shrimp, vienna sausage or squid, avocado, lime juice or apple cider vinegar, cucumber, radish or firm fruit such as mango.
Pico de gallo can be used in much the same way as other Mexican liquid salsas, Kenyan kachumbari, or Indian chutneys, but since it contains less liquid, it can also be used as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas.
The tomato-based variety is widely known as salsa picada (minced/chopped sauce). In Mexico it is sometimes called salsa mexicana (Mexican sauce). Because the colors of the red tomato, white onion, coriander and green chili are reminiscent of the colors of the Mexican flag, it is also sometimes called salsa bandera (flag sauce).
In many regions of Mexico the term refers to any of a variety of salads (including fruit salads), salsa, or fillings made with tomato, tomatillo, avocado, melon, orange, jícama, cucumber, papaya, or mild chilis. The ingredients are tossed in lime juice and either hot sauce or chamoy, then sprinkled with a salty chili powder.
In their book Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico, Rick Bayless and Deann Groen speculate that the name might allude to the bird feed-like texture and appearance of the mince.