How Long Is Homemade Salsa Good For (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4-6 days

Year by year, Salsa is gaining popularity and becoming a well known condiment food item. Earlier, its popularity was limited to Spain. But now, much more countries and cultures are trying and falling in love with it. Especially in America, Salsa has become one of the favourite condiments to have with some burgers, hot dogs, chips, nachos, etc.

There are several varieties of Salsa available in the market. But, many people prefer to make the condiment at home with fresh vegetables. However, when it is made at home, one often wonders how long can they preserve it without losing the essence of its taste and how long it can be good enough to be eaten.

How Long Is Homemade Salsa Good For?

There are uncountable recipes for Salsa. Yet the most basic salsa recipe consists of tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, and often, cilantro and spices. Generally with this recipe, if Salsa is kept in the refrigerator, Salsa can taste almost as good as fresh after a day or two. After two days, there can be clear changes in the colour and taste of Salsa. While after afterwards, Salsa can start to smell and become bad for health.

However, many people use acidic edible items to preserve the taste and life of their Salsa for a longer period. Tomato is always in Salsa and can be considered as a major ingredient with perhaps no substitutes. But, acid from Tomato isn’t always enough. Perhaps, whatever acid is there in Tomato, helps Salsa to be good for a few days. So, very often, people use extra acids like lemon juice, extra tomatoes to increase their homemade Salsa’s freshness.

Many people use plain, distilled vinegar to preserve Salsa for some extra days. Vinegar has extra benefits as Vinegar not only extends the freshness of Salsa but it does that so without affecting its taste that much. Using vinegar and other acidic edible items, one can extend the freshness of their Salsa for up to 6 days. Also, with added preservatives, Salsa can even survive for up to a year. This happens when proper amount of preservatives are added, and the Salsa is canned properly, But it can survive for up to a year in the refrigerator inside the packed can.

MethodTime (In refrigerator)
Uncanned Salsa 4-6 days
Canned SalsaUp to a year

Why Homemade Salsa Can Stay Good For That Long?

Acid is the key here. It is a well-known fact that certain acids if applied within a certain amount, can help to preserve foods for a longer period. Canned foods sold by businesses also have edible preservative acids that help in preserving the freshness of food for longer, even for years.

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So, when Tomatoes and Lemons are used in Salsa as primary ingredients, their acids try to preserve Salsa. But as they are not strong enough, they only preserve for one or two days at max. The bacteria easily get attracted to the Salsa and affect its quality. Although, when additional acids like lemon, vinegar, are applied, the acids become dominant and prevent bacteria to ruin the taste and quality of the food. It protects the quality of the food for up to 6 days without ruining its taste.

However, it is highly recommended not to use too many acids to preserve food for much longer. As too much of the acids may have adverse effects on health and taste as well. So it is recommended to use the acids accordingly with measures. It is recommended to use vinegar of at least 5% acidity or lime juice that is not freshly squeezed.

One should properly can their food to preserve it for a long period. Also, one must not depend on these preservatives. Even after applying the preservatives, one should eat the food only if it smells and tastes good. As in some cases, preservatives lose their dominance and bacteria attack the food.

Conclusion

Salsa indeed is a very popular condiment food item and is still becoming more popular. Even though there are so many variants of Salsa available in the market, one may wish to make it at home. For this, one must take care of Salsa to preserve it for a few days.

Without additional acids, Salsa may survive a few days in the refrigerator at max. Even in that period, it might lose its colour, taste and quality. Although, edible acids like lemon juice, vinegar may help to preserve the quality of salsa for up to 6 days, and even for a year, that only if Salsa is kept in the refrigerator with proper canning.

However, one must make sure that they use the correct amount of acids in their Salsa to preserve it. Other than that, one must always smell it or taste a little bit first to check the quality of their preserved Salsa kept in the refrigerator.

References

  1. https://walworth.extension.wisc.edu/files/2010/12/B3570.pdf
  2. https://library.ndsu.edu/ir/bitstream/handle/10365/9340/fn584_2009.pdf?sequence=1
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