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Old 12-28-2005, 11:53 PM   #1
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My Salsa recipe is bitter, can you help me figure out why?

So I was doing some experimenting this evening on a salsa recipe. It's a fresh recipe with no cooking or boiling (I just chopped it up in my food processor). I just tried it and it sucks! It's got a bitter bite to it. Can you guys help me figure out what's causing it? I think it's one of the peppers I used.

2 whole limes, peeled
4 Clementine oranges
2 green onions
1 large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
2 Jalepeno peppers, seeded
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded
1 Poblano pepper, seeded
2 Bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 "On Vine" tomatoes, cored
1 carrot
1 tablespoon salt

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Old 12-28-2005, 11:59 PM   #2
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This is probably pretty obvious, but I did peel the oranges before I put them in.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:13 AM   #3
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Well, since the citrus is all peeled, my guess would be that it's from the combination of all the raw peppers.
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:15 AM   #4
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Hi Beer Me, a big welcome to our DC family!

This might just be me (not a salsa expert by a long shot!) but I tend to think that it looks like there are too many flavours compeating for attention in that recipe. Many of the ingredients (like the carrot, orange and green onions) are "sweet" flavours, but the stronger ones like the chillis, lime and coriander are likely to wash them out.

I'd probably try simplifying the recipe and eliminting some of the ingredients. Use just one or the other of the types of onions and citrus fruit (or use the oranges and add a little lime zest or vice versa). I'd probably drop the cumin too and let the chilli and corriander flavours try to shine through. I wonder if using 3 different hot peppers is really adding much to the flavour (chilli experts please set me straight here, if I'm mistaken), but I can't help but think that the strongest one might just over-power and dominate the taste of the other 2 types.

Not sure if you really need the carrot or bell pepper either, but they may work - play around a little with tiny batches, that way you can try and get the ingredients right without "wasting" a whole batch. Good luck, and welcome to DC
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:59 AM   #5
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Anaheims and Poblanos are not hot. But I agree that there are too many types of peppers, especially since it was concocted in a food processor. Raw fresh peppers can taste "grassy" (for lack of a better word) and the combination and amounts of what was added may have caused the bitterness. Some honey, sugar, or more acidity probably would've brought down the bitterness in the salsa and balanced it out.

Another cause could've been the limes and oranges. Although they were peeled, it doesn't sound like they were juiced. The membrane in the fruit could've contributed to the bitterness as well.
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Old 12-29-2005, 07:41 AM   #6
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Sometimes the best recipe is the one with the least ingredients.
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:42 AM   #7
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I'd use the juice of the citrus and leave out the rest of it. The membranes can be bitter. I'd also remove the seeds and the pith from the peppers. Leave in some of the seeds if you want more heat.
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:45 AM   #8
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Thanks guys!

I'll try some simplification and report back to you!
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Old 12-30-2005, 11:20 AM   #9
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I agree with Andy. I think it was the citrus pith that made it bitter.

I've never had a bitter pepper but citrus pith and old garlic can definitely be bitter.
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:19 PM   #10
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Hey Beer Me,
Have you ever tried roasting the peppers? Makes for a really good smokey flavor in the salsa.
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