When you sit down at a Mexican restaurant and start perusing the menu, one thing becomes clear pretty quickly: dips are the name of the game when it comes to appetizers. Indeed, most Mexican restaurants offer a variety of dips, all of which are served with tortilla chips. These dips are perfect for sharing with your fellow diners at the start of a meal. But if you're new to Mexican cuisine, you may need a little help figuring out what each dip consists of. That's where this article will come in handy.
Guacamole is used as both a dip and a topping in Mexican food. It's made mostly from pureed avocado. Most restaurants will also add tomato, red onion, cilantro, and lime to their guacamole. Sometimes you'll see a few other ingredients, like tomatillos or black beans. It's thick, filling, and unique.
If you see salsa rojo on the menu, that's just red salsa– not too different from the salsa you might buy in a jar from your grocery store. It's made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sometimes a few seasonings like lime juice, garlic, and vinegar. Freshly made salsa from a Mexican restaurant is often runnier than the variety you'd buy at a grocery store. It's a nice, light option for snacking and is great paired with guacamole.
The name of this dip means "green sauce." It's made from tomatillos, onions, garlic, cilantro, onion, and green chile peppers. Because the peppers and tomatillos are usually roasted before being added to the sauce, salsa verde has a deep, roasted flavor. It's great on chips, but you only need a little.
Queso means "cheese" in Spanish, but if you see queso listed with other dips on a Mexican restaurant menu, then you are likely getting a specific, cheese-based dip. It's a melty, gooey cheese dip made with good melting cheese, evaporated milk, and a variety of seasonings and spices. Many versions have chopped chiles and tomatoes, and some also include garlic and onions. Queso is really rich and filling, so make sure you share it or else you won't have room for your entree.
The next time you visit a Mexican restaurant with these dips on the menu, you will have a better sense of what you're getting. Don't hesitate to order more than one of them so everyone at your table can experience them. If you are looking to eat Mexican food, visit local restaurants today.