The heat scale of salsa is directly related to the peppers in the recipe. We chose salsas from Big Truck Tacos for the purpose of illustration, both because we love the color range, and because they are delicious. Chef-partner Kathryn Mathis said the original three – Roja, Verde and OMG – were inspired by what she loved in Austin taquerias, but all the recipes are original. Every salsa added after those three, including the rotating Salsa of the Month, was in response to customer requests for more heat.
1) Verde: Tomatillo base with loads of garlic. Again, no detectable heat, but also not as acidic as traditional taqueria green sauce.
2) OMG: Jalapeňo, oil (for emulsification), garlic and a splash of lime juice. Not necessarily mild, and can be quite hot depending on how late in the season the jalapeňos are picked.
3) Roja: Roasted tomatoes and onions with fried jalapeňos. No detectable heat, unless you think tomato juice is spicy.
4) HAF: Again, “hot as fire.” [wink] Only for the true heat-head; a mix of the Verde and OMG for a base, then loaded up with ghost peppers and habaneros. Mathis did not appreciate being told her salsas weren’t hot enough; this is her answer.
5) ASPHALT: Rather than go traditional, Mathis used mango, papaya, pineapple and orange juice with habanero. The phrase “hot as Oklahoma asphalt” inspired the name, and the result is indeed hot.
6) OMFG: “Only Made for Grownups.” Of course that’s what it stands for. Of course. Serrano peppers drive the heat, and if you think free salsa at a TexMex joint is hot, stay away from this.