The Spanish name for this salsa means "rooster's beak," and originally referred to a salad of jicama, peanuts, oranges, and onions. But today, whether you're in Minneapolis or Mexico City, if you ask for pico de gallo, you'll get the familiar cilantro-flecked combination of chopped tomato, onion, and fresh chiles. This tart, crisp condiment (also known as salsa Mexicana) has become so common on Mexican tables that it seems like no coincidence that its colors match those of the national flag. Besides finding firm ripe tomatoes and seeding them, the key to this salsa is adding plenty of lime juice and salt, and not skimping on the chiles. Because without a burst of acidity and heat, you're just eating chopped tomatoes.
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