The Recipe Spot
Zesty Salsa For Cinco de Mayo
It was the little army of 2000 that could.
This Sunday, May 5, 2013 commemorates the 151st battle anniversary south of the border, the Battle of Puebla.
Often mistaken as Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo was the Battle of Puebla fought on May 5, 1862 near the city of Puebla, Mexico.
In what seemed impossible at the time, Cinco de Mayo marks the unlikely victory of Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza’s poorly trained loyal army of 2000 against the invading French troops led by General Charles de Lorencez during the Franco-Mexican war.
The dispute between the two countries began because of 40 years of civil war in Mexico and other costly wars to maintain independence, the country was virtually bankrupt. As a result, President Benito Juarez was forced to suspend all debts owed to other countries, including France, which couldn’t be repaid for several years.
With his eyes set on making Mexico a French colony, the angry French Emperor Louis Napoleon III who demanded reimbursement, believed that his powerful French army of 6,000 could easily defeat the small and inexperienced Mexican army, stormed the Gulf of Mexico along the state of Veracruz on that fateful day in May.
Outnumbered by 4,000 troops, Zaragoza’s Mexican army defeated the well-armed French infantrymen.
Hailed as a major victory for the Mexican army, May 5 became a symbol of Mexican nationalism and is a source of great pride for the people of Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations are typically held in the state of Puebla, Mexico and the United States in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
Revelers north of the border will celebrate everything Mexican that may include street parades, dance, mariachi music, authentic Mexican cuisine and indulging in a shot or two, or maybe even three, of tequila.
Celebrate the Mexican fiesta Sunday with this recipe for Authentic Salsa that uses the stronger and more robust Mexican oregano rather than the Mediterranean oregano typically used in Italian dishes.
Simply enjoy the salsa as a dip for chips or use it to provide a flavor boost to the main course and side dishes.
Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
2 cups diced tomatoes
½ cup finely diced red onion
1 to 2 Tbsp. finely chopped and seeded jalapeno peppers
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
½ tsp. dried Mexican oregano
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, oil, vinegar, lime juice, oregano, salt and cilantro. Mix well.
Makes 4 servings