This was opposed to Pace's salsa:
Now I thought the first one was a "salsa", just a special type of salsa. However "salsa" doesn't appear anywhere on the jar. Furthermore on www.pacefoods.com, there is a distinction between salsa and picante sauce. This led me to believe that "picante sauce" is NOT a type of "salsa".
If translated literally to Spanish, "picante sauce" just means "spicy sauce" and "salsa" just means "sauce".
So technically speaking; ketchup, barbecue sauce, A1, ranch dressing and Tobasco are ALL salsas. However if you ask me to buy some salsa you obviously don't mean A1.
While the two terms are commonly used interchangeably in English, they are not synonymous, because picante sauce is a specific type of salsa.
So picante sauce IS salsa according to this website, however there is a contradiction because it says:
Picante sauce, on the other hand, has one distinguishing characteristic that sets its apart -- its intense heat.
Pace (who apparently was the inventor of picante sauce) sells mild, medium and spicy picante sauces along with salsas.
I know the stuff inside the jar that says "picante sauce" has a different texture and tastes different than the stuff inside the jar that says "salsa", so I'm not really asking what the actual culinary differences are. I know those. I'm asking about a definition.
Are "picante sauces" a subset of "salsas"? Does a tomato based sauce have to be spicy to be "picante"?