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The Spanish term for "sauce," salsa can be a mixture of fruits or a mixture of vegetables, or both that are whole and chopped, which are used to complement the flavor of a variety of foods. The mixture can be fresh or cooked with a spicy flavor that can range from mild to very hot tasting, depending on the spices added. Fruit salsas may include balsamic vinegar, and any of several fruits such as cantaloupe, grapes, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, orange, banana, and cilantro. A typical mixture for vegetable salsas that are red in color may include tomatoes, green, red or yellow sweet peppers, onions, chile peppers, garlic, and other seasonings, such as cilantro. The green (verde) vegetable salsas commonly use tomatillos, cilantro and sweet onions as a mixture for the relish. Fruit salsas provide a nice flavor to chicken, fish, and other meats, while vegetable salsas add flavor to snack foods, hamburgers, black bean soups, egg dishes, and a variety of other similar foods. Salsa is similar to another sauce known as picante. Picante is smoother in texture, sweeter in taste and is generally made with fewer spices, while salsa has a chunkier texture and spicier in taste. Typically, salsas vary only slightly in ingredients, with the majority including tomatoes, chile peppers, bell peppers, and onions. Some salsas include corn and black beans for added flavor. When fresh, salsa can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. If cooked and kept sealed, it can be stored at room temperature for at least six months however, when opened it can be kept refrigerated for approximately a month.

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