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What is Salpicon?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 16, 2024
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Salpicon is a term used in French cooking to define a mixture of minced ingredients that are used to stuff canapés, roulades, rissoles, and croquettes. The mixture might also be used to stuff tartlets, croustades, timbales, and eggs. It is common for the ingredients to be bound with a sauce after they are diced and mixed and before they are used as a stuffing. The ingredients that are used in salpicon are commonly made up of a mixture of meat and vegetables. Salpicon sometimes incorporates fish.

Ingredients in a salpicon are commonly cooked before they are prepared as a mixture. In French cuisine, the mixture is sometimes used to create savory dishes and other times used to create sweet dishes. Savory dishes usually use meat and vegetables, as described above. Sweet dishes, however, are made with a salpicon of fruit and perhaps nuts. In these cases, it is common for the ingredients to be bound together with a syrup or cream instead of a savory sauce as with the meat and vegetable mixtures.

In addition to being used as a stuffing, salpicon is also sometimes used as a garnish. It may be used as a garnish on top of bread to make a kind of bruschetta or may be served along side entrees. For example, the mixture may be used on top of a piece of fish, chicken, or meat.

The term salpicon is also sometimes used to refer to a Central American shredded beef salad that is used to top tostadas and is sometimes rolled up in a tortilla. In fact, this kind of salpicon is used in a manner that is quite similar to the French version of the dish. The key ingredients in Central American salpicon are avocado, tomato, beef, onions, and chiles. There are a number of variations on this dish within Central America and South America.

As with the French version of the dish, the Central American version cooks a number of the ingredients before mincing them and creating the mixture. Some of the vegetables, such as the avocado, are added in a ripe but uncooked form to the dish. Also, as in French cuisine, the Central American version of salpicon is sometimes used as a garnish for meat, poultry, and seafood dishes. Many Central American versions of this dish call for lime juice, which adds a nice citrusy brightness to the mixture and to any dish that includes it as a garnish.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
In addition to her work as a freelance writer for DelightedCooking, Diane Goettel serves as the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. Over the course, she has edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter “Sapling,” and The Adirondack Review. Diane holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Discussion Comments

By SZapper — On Sep 21, 2011

@starrynight - Salpicon is great, isn't it? If I were you, I would try looking online for an easy recipe. If you get the right recipe I bet it would be easy to replicate that dessert at home!

I've had the Central American version of salpicon before and I would definitely eat it again. Probably because I love avocado so much. Avocado is one of my favorite foods and I'm willing to try any dish that has avocado in it at least once!

By starrynight — On Sep 20, 2011

I wasn't very familiar with salpicon until I had a dessert a restaurant that was made with salpicon recently. It was type of pastry and the description said it was filled with a "fruit salpicon."

When I asked the waiter what that was, he explained it to me. And it sounded delicious! I decided to get it and I was very glad. It was a mixture of strawberries, blueberries and walnuts in a kind of cream sauce. I've been trying to recreate it at home, but no luck so far!

Diane Goettel

Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for DelightedCooking, Diane Goettel serves as the executive editor of...
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