Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Condiment of the Week: Salsa Lizano

This "salsa" is really more of a versatile sauce that I have fallen in love with from the moment I've tasted it. Lizano is the ketchup of Costa Rica, and you can find it almost everywhere over there, but hardly anywhere in the U.S. of A. In fact, I have yet to find a place in NYC or nearby that sells it, and have had to order it by the case from a Costa Rican mail order company.

Lizano has a very unique flavor, and describing it will not do it justice. Greenish brown and a smooth thick liquid, it has a very earthy and somewhat salty taste to it, most likely attributed to a variety of vegetables in it ranging from cauliflower to cucumber. Not spicy at all, as most people expect from a salsa, it is rich, and a very bold flavor that stands on it's own in almost anything.

Personally, I like to tell people once you use Lizano with Mexican food like a burrito you won't be able to eat it without it. I use it with any Mexican food or other latin food, particularly with rice and beans. I've also used it as a marinade for meats like chicken, turkey and beef, or for a sauce for meat. Vegetables and more starchy food don't go well with it, but I have mixed it in with chicken salad and tuna salad as a way to give it a different flavor.

Favorite Use: Poured generously on top of a chicken burrito.
Strangest Use: Chicken Salad sandwich, instead of oil and vinegar


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