The Real Difference Between Salsa Verde And Sauce Verte

Always remember to eat your greens — even if they are in the form of a condiment. Salsa verde and sauce verte are two sauces that offer zesty flavor and add vibrant color to a wide variety of dishes. Both green sauces enliven any dish they touch, from meats and poultry, to salads and sandwiches, to an endless slew of hors d'oeuvres and entrées.

Salsa verde and sauce verte — which both directly translate to green sauce — differ in their countries of origin and ideal culinary pairings, as well as their main ingredients. Salsa verde originated in Mexico and still plays a key role in Mexican cuisine. Its history can be traced back to the ancient Aztec, Mayan, and Incan civilizations, according to StreetDirectory. Sauce verte, on the other hand, dates back to the French Renaissance and was popular among a span of social classes who mainly ate it with bread (via The Chopping Block).

Here are some of the major ways to tell the two apart and what you will need to make them in your own home kitchen.

What are the key differences between salsa verde and sauce verte?

Salsa verde is a spicy Mexican sauce that is commonly eaten as a garnish or dip. Its traditional components include tomatillos (or sometimes green tomatoes), green chili peppers, such as jalapeño or serrano, onion, cilantro, parsley, and lime juice. It tastes great as an invigorating appetizer or snack when paired with crispy tortilla chips, drizzled over cheesy enchiladas and meaty tacos, or splashed atop savory fried pork belly (chicharrónes). Salsa verde is also closely related to pipián, more commonly known as green mole.

Sauce verte is a classic French spread that calls for anchovy fillets, capers, herbal spices, including parsley, mint, and tarragon, alliums, including chives, shallot, and garlic, and finally, fragrant garnishes, including lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil. Mayonnaise is also often incorporated to create a creamier, versatile condiment (via Bon Appetit). Sauce verte resembles more of a spread than a dipping sauce. Food & Wine shared its recipe for sauce verte, which complements meats, fish, and vegetables perfectly.

Whichever green sauce you decide to indulge in, you are in for a spicy adventure!