Rachael Ray's Twist On Pico De Gallo Doesn't Use Tomatoes

"Pico de gallo" actually means "rooster beak," which refers to the motion of scooping up the Mexican condiment between two fingers and adding it to tacos (via Serious Eats). Although the ingredients of pico de gallo have nothing to do with the beak of an actual rooster, there are certain things one might expect to find in a pico de gallo recipe.

So, what makes a pico de gall, well, a pico de gall? Quite simply, red tomatoes, onions, and chilies are diced and tossed in a bowl with salt, lime juice, and cilantro to make pico. According to Serious Eats consultant J. Kenji López-Alt, you should be especially careful in choosing the best and "most flavorful" tomatoes that you can find because the condiment pretty much depends on it. It seems safe to say that the key to a good pico de gallo is in the tomatoes – that is, if you're not Rachael Ray, of course.

The "30 Minute Meal" star's take on pico de gallo is different from the typical pico in that it doesn't use tomatoes at all, according to an Instagram video. While Ray said she would usually make the condiment with "ripe red tomatoes," this particular pico de gallo comes with a twist: raw green tomatillos, which she happens to be growing this year.

Tomatillos are very different from tomatoes

While the similar-sounding names may make it seem like tomatillos are nothing but a variety of tomatoes, the two fruits are entirely different. Per MasterClass, they come from two different plants. Although both belong to the nightshade family, tomatillos – also known as husk tomatoes thanks to their "papery husk" – have more in common with cape gooseberries than with tomatoes. Where tomatoes are soft and juicy with a fruity flavor, tomatillos remain firm to touch have a tartness similar to that of green apples. Despite the differences, the site notes that tomatillos pair excellently with lime juice and cilantro, and the green variety can serve as an ingredient in salsa verde.

While it sounds like Rachael Ray may be onto something with her tomatillo pico de gallo, Instagram is divided on the Food Network star's recipe. Some fans in the comment section are not happy with the chef's "tasty twist on your classic pico de gallo" and urged her to steer clear of preparing Mexican dishes. As one commenter put it, "Stop making Mexican food!! It's not even Mexican! As a Mexican just stop!!" Another user insisted she didn't make pico de gallo at all. Others, though, are more willing to at least give it a shot: "I don't think I've ever eaten a tomatillo, but I'm willing to try!"