Difference Between Sauce and Salsa (With Table)

Sauce vs Salsa

Two most favorite ingredients of Mexican food lovers are Picante Sauce and Salsa. One hot and spicy another with a milder flavor, picante and salsa were undeniably a god-sent for food enthusiasts.

The difference between picante sauce and salsa is that Picante has a silky-smooth texture while salsa is rich in chunky tomato pieces that render it unique.

Another difference is that picante is essentially red and is made with spicy red chilies and ripened tomatoes pureed with other ingredients while salsa is made both red and green with chunky pieces of tomatoes for a rough texture.

Picante sauce is largely used as a dip while salsa is used as a milder alternative to the heat and spice of picante. In fact, picante itself means “hot or spicey” in Spanish.

However another key difference between them is in their origin story. Picante sauce was introduced by David Earl Pace which became an instant hit whereas salsa’s history is intertwined with Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs.


 

Comparison Table Between Sauce and Salsa

Parameter of ComparisonPicante SauceSalsa
TextureSmooth like a pureeRough with chunky pieces of tomatoes
FlavorHot and spicyMild alternative of picante sauce
OriginDavid Earl Pace Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs.
ColorTypically redMaybe both red and green
Ingredients used Ingredients are cooked before pureeingAvailable in both cooked and uncooked version

 

What is Sauce?

Picante essentially means “hot and spicy” in Spanish inspired from the word “Picant” which is also Spanish for stingy. Such a name was assigned to this combination for the spicy and tangy flavor it imparts.

Picante sauce was first invented by David Earl Pace which became an instant hit in America in 1947 and yet rules the niche of Mexican sauces. It is widely used as a dip or an addition to other combinations in foods like taco, burritos, etc.

The color of the sauce is bright red, a fair warning to the heat about to come from its addition. Picante is a smooth mix of tomatillos, red chili peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, chopped onion and garlic which are cooked and jarred before mashing to its consistency.

Pace, who was the original creator of this magical mix, first tested his recipe on his golfing friends and concocted the original picante sauce from home grown jalapenos.

Pace Foods later produced a number of variations to meet customer needs and these were Mild, Medium, Hot and Thick & Chunky. This Texas made Mexican sauce has created a fan base all over the world among and for good reason.  

Sauce
 

What is Salsa?

Salsa has a long lost history with the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs and with so much history no doubt it has reason enough to have survived the wrath of time to make a space in the niche.

Salsa much like picante is a mix of tomatoes, green chili, jalapenos, bell peppers, onion and garlic but unlike picante they are roughly pureed. Salsa is also a milder version of picante and often used as an alternative or in combination.

Although salsa is Spanish for sauce and was mostly popular among the Spanish since 1500s, its original history can be traced back to as far as the Mayans and Aztec. The traditional mix included squash and beans along with tomatoes and chilies among other ingredients.

A version of salsa came to be popular in America when first bottled hot sauces started were introduced in the market in late 1800s. Salsa is now heavily used as a dip or on pizzas and tacos with mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup.

Although a hot sauce, salsa is loved for its chunky texture and mild flavor. Salsa is made both green and red in color. The difference being red ones are made with ripened ingredients while the green ones are made with un-ripened ones.

Salsa 1

Main Differences Between Sauce and Salsa

  • The main difference between picante sauce and salsa is that Picante has a pureed smooth texture while salsa has a rough texture rich in chunky tomato pieces that render it unique.
  • Another key difference between them lies in their flavor. Picante sauce is hot and spicy whereas salsa is a milder alternative to picante.
  • Picante sauce was introduced by David Earl Pace in 1947 which became an instant hit whereas salsa’s was first concocted by the Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs of native America.
  • Picante sauce is largely used as a dip while salsa is used as a milder alternative to the heat and spice of picante or in combination with picante.
  • Another difference is that picante is essentially red and is made with cooked ingredients while salsa is made both red and green with raw uncooked ingredients.

 

Conclusion

Both Picante and Salsa are popular hot sauces that are mostly used for spicy Mexican foods however there are certain differences that make them unique.

The main difference between picante sauce and salsa is that Picante has a smooth texture with everything pureed down while salsa is made chunky with bigger tomato pieces that give it an edge.

Salsa much like picante is a mix of tomatoes, green chili, jalapenos, bell peppers, onion and garlic but unlike picante they are roughly pureed. Salsa is also a milder version of picante and often used as an alternative or in combination.

Picante on the contrary is hot and spicy and is derived from the word “Picant” which is Spanish for stingy relating to the feeling perceived when this sauce is tasted while salsa is also Spanish for sauce and was became popular among the Spaniards since 1500s

Picante sauce was first invented by David Earl Pace which became an instant hit in America in 1947 whereas salsa’s history can be traced back to as far as the Mayans and Aztec in the native America. The Aztecs were the first who started growing tomatoes and made different combination from it.