Pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈgaʎo], lit. 'beak of rooster'), also called salsa fresca or salsa cruda, is a type of salsa commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It is traditionally made from chopped tomato, onion, Serrano peppers (jalapeños or habaneros may be used as alternatives), with salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro.
The tomato-based variety is widely known as salsa picada (minced/chopped sauce). In Mexico it is normally called salsa mexicana (Mexican sauce). Because the colours of the red tomato, white onion, green chili and cilantro are reminiscent of the colours of the Mexican flag, it is also sometimes called salsa bandera (flag sauce).
In many regions of Mexico the term refers to any of a variety of salads (including fruit salads), salsa, or fillings made with tomato, tomatillo, avocado, orange, jícama, cucumber, papaya, or mild chilis. The ingredients are tossed in lime juice and optionally with either hot sauce or chamoy, then sprinkled with a salty chili powder.
In their book Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico, Rick Bayless and Deann Groen speculate that the name might allude to the bird feed-like texture and appearance of the mince.
Many native residents of the Sonoran Mexico region explain that the salsa is thus named because the serrano pepper resembles a rooster's beak in shape.