The Best Type Of Fresh Herbs To Amplify Pineapple Salsa

Among the various condiments that usually accompany tacos and fajitas, there are spicy salsas, creamy additions like guacamole, and refreshing melanges of vegetables. Some sweeter varieties of salsa or pico de gallo incorporate tropical fruits like mangoes or pineapples. And it makes perfect sense: Pineapples are acidic, tart, and sweet and serve to complement heavier items like barbecued meat or cheese (pineapple on pizza, anyone?). But you can't just make a pineapple salsa with pineapples unless you want to end up with something like a sweet fruit cup.

Good pineapple salsa needs to retain its salsa status, with some piquancy, some herbiness, and some sharp allium. Pineapple is one of the more potent fruits, with a sweet and sour flavor that can overpower anything it's mixed with. This is why it needs to be paired and mixed with herbs and vegetables that are equally strong and singular in their flavor profiles. Cilantro is a typical choice of herb for many Mexican dishes, but there are other herbs that can be just as complementary and fragrant for a taco night.

Strong herbs like parsley, basil, and tarragon

Cilantro may have a soapy flavor for people with a specific gene variation, but to others, it tastes citrusy, sharp, and fresh. Cilantro has its place in salsa and pico de gallo because it manages to cut through any grease or heavy meat. But if you're looking to be less conventional, there are other herbs that would suit a pineapple salsa: parsley, basil, and tarragon.

If you've ever had chimichurri, you'll understand why this works so well. Parsley is oftentimes used as a garnish on dishes in its dry, brittle form: it's more of a second thought and hardly noticeable in terms of texture and flavor. But fresh flat-leaf parsley is a strong and aromatic herb that has a peppery and earthy profile that can balance the sweet and tangy pineapple in a pineapple salsa.

Basil is another aromatic herb that can work wonderfully in a pineapple salsa. With an anise and mint flavor, basil is often used in Italian and Thai cuisine. However, fresh basil leaves can also give salsa a minty and earthy taste, making the condiment more well-rounded in terms of flavor. Other herbs, like tarragon, which is popular in French cuisine, can also cut through the syrupy sweetness of pineapple. So the next time you want to try making a fun pineapple salsa, try incorporating any of these fragrant herbs, along with any mix of spicy peppers, onions, and bell peppers.