Writing in the New York Times recently, Molly O'Neill explaned why salsa's replacement of ketchup as the king of American condiments takes on more importance than the usual marketing statistic:
"Epicures and food historians view the topping of ketchup as the manifest destiny of good taste. Ketchup, that sugar-sweetened complemnet to fried food and meat, symbolizes 'the bland old British-based American diet,' said Elizabeth Rozin, a specialist in ethnic food. The Mexican-inspired salsa is an uncoked relish fired by chili peppers that appeals, she said, "to cosmopoltan tastes.'
"But to the food industry the rise of salsa symbolizes more than a growing gustatory sophistication. It is the death knell for the sort of cooking ketchup enhances.