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I got some pepper seeds called criolla de cocina peppers. In the seed catalogs, they are said to be essential for "salsa criolla campesina", a condiment of Nicaragua. However, I haven't been able to find a mention of this salsa anywhere, either in my cookbooks or via Google.

Is this actually a real dish? If so, where can I find out more about it?

Note: "salsa criolla" is a general category of salsa across all of Latin America. I'm looking for the specific Nicaraguan salsa that uses criolla de cocina peppers.

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  • Google without the quotes, salsa criollo returns quite a bit of information.
    – Debbie M.
    Aug 29 '20 at 5:05
  • from google, it looks like any other fresh tomato/bell pepper salsa made with the local ingredients, in this case the criolla sweet pepper
    – Max
    Aug 29 '20 at 10:59
  • I'll update the question. "salsa criollo" is a general category, and doesn't find me a specific recipe for these peppers.
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 29 '20 at 16:50
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I haven't found a specific recipe so far - but I did find this:

'Criolla de Cocina' is a unique chiltoma pepper from Nicaragua. It is a sweet pepper characterized by a strong flavor, thin walls, and wrinkled appearance (like an oversized habañero). These types of peppers are used in Nicaragua for the classic sauce known as salsa criolla campesina, which combines thinly sliced onions and peppers with tomatoes, salt, sugar, and vinegar, and is served with grilled or fried fish or chicken throughout Nicaragua.

from here.

Of note is that campesina translates to peasant and criolla to creole or native in english, so you might translate the name as the sauce made by the native people (says me with no Spanish beyond a few basic words) - so it is likely a regional dish without a defined recipe - a true dish of the people if you will.

However: look what I just found here: http://www.recetasnica.com/Salsa-Criolla.php. Translated below:

Creole sauce .

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Tomatoes, Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup of Bitter Orange or Lemon Juice.
  • 1/8 cup of vinegar.
  • 1/4 of Cup of Water.
  • 2 Fine Chopped Chiltomas.
  • 2 finely chopped onions.
  • 6 Fine Chopped Jalapeño Peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup (Tomato sauce).
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped coriander.`

Procedure:

Mix all these ingredients and add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste (you can also make it without chili). Put it in a separate container. This sauce can be added to any type of food or soup. You can keep it in the refrigerator indefinitely.

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  • Yeah, the quoted text is what's used by all of 5 seed companies that stock these seeds. I wrote a couple of them, and they admitted that they got the copy from the seed grower and didn't know anything additional.
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 30 '20 at 18:36
  • The recipe is promising, except that it only uses a minority of the criolla de cocina peppers, and uses 3X as many jalopenos. I could adjust it, though ...
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 30 '20 at 18:38
  • I'm gonna leave this open for another day or so in hopes of getting someone actually from Nicaragua to speak up. If not, I'll take your answer.
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 30 '20 at 18:39
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    @FuzzyChef - yeah, there was a bit of variation in what the seed companies say, but it was all essentially the same thing, suspiciously similar - I even found it in a book.. It took some pretty deep googling to find the recipe, I think I used the terms Nicaraguan and criolla and salsa then excluded any that weren't in Spanish or from Nicaragua. Looks like it, or a very similar dish is very common elsewhere in South America.
    – bob1
    Aug 30 '20 at 19:37
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    @FuzzyChef: A bit of googling tells me that the seeds were collected in 1988 from a farmer in Nicaragua, possibly as part of the Roughwood seed collection. How true that is, is debatable, but it seems likely as a lot of the places selling it are very opposed to "big business" style operations.
    – bob1
    Aug 31 '20 at 21:05

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