Epic Salsa Fail

Went a little too crazy today.  Bought lots of produce, with the plan being to make the savoury items on that list in the previous post.  I”ll post a picture later, but now I’m just griping.

Came home, and was ready to rock and roll.  Began with the charred chili salsa.

I should have followed the basic guidelines of the idea “measure twice, cut once” when it came to my onions.  I measured out a pound of them, set them aside, had to char and clean the chilis (which took a while).  when I returned to the onions, I must have grabbed too many. It ended up being onion salsa.

The problem here is not just the taste.  Onions are alkaline, so they decrease the acidity of a recipe.  That means my salsa could have been not acidic enough to inhibit botulism toxin growth.  Botulism grows in low-acid, oxygen free environments.  Like a sealed jar of salsa.  Perfect.

I threw in a bunch of lemon juice and vinegar, along with pulling out as much onion as possible, and throwing in a few more tomatoes.

One of the good things about being a brewer is that I have PH test strips.  So I tested the PH and it came out below 4.6, which is the cut off for botulism toxin growth.  I also processed it for longer than recommended, knowing that the heat will further kill any spores.

I’m very angry at myself tonight, and frustrated at the outcome of this.  Not only does the salsa not taste great, but it’s not something I”ll give away, given the potential to kill people!

I need to find someone who can test for botulism.  And a beer.  Or three.


About danmalleck

Medical historian and jack-of-all-trades curmudgeon. I tend to ramble about politics, social incivility, and our self-centred culture more interested in buying the next cool ringtone or LED TV than actively engaging in the sorts of discussions and issues that matter. The more opportunity we have to buy more stuff, the less concern there is, it seems, in politics, social justice and let's face it, basic human decency, unless those things actually can save us money or get us more things to show how awesome we are through displaying our material wealth. And I like to brew beer, make cheese, and put food in jars.
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