When I explained how to toast chiles in the Basics chapter, I told you to be careful not to burn them. But for this unforgettable sweet and tangy salsa, from the highlands of Veracruz (and the kitchen of my friend Sergio Remolina), I want you to toast chipotles mecos to the brink of burnt, until they're brittle and blistered with black patches (see page 16). Blended with sauteed onion, agave syrup, and apple cider vinegar, they create a thick salsa like no other - just four main ingredients that add up to a wildly complex flavor where tartness tugs at sweetness, and where gentle bitterness, warm spiciness, and bold smokiness keep every bite exciting. The stunning dark color demonstrates why it's also called salsa negra.
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