Classic Berks County Salsa


  • 14 cups of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • ½ cup Jalapeño peppers (hot peppers)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 small handful of cilantro
  • 2 tsp. chipotle powder (optional – it’s very spicy so use according to your tastes!)


  1. If desired, peel tomatoes by covering them with boiling hot water and letting them stand for three minutes. Drain, then peel skins.
  2. Dice tomatoes into a colander to allow excess juice to drain.
  3. Cook all ingredients except the last three for about 15 minutes (until mostly soft).
  4. Blend the cornstarch, vinegar and cilantro in the blender and add them to the cooked ingredients and cook for a few minutes (until a bit thickened)
  5. Put into canning jars and process in the canner for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Tip: for a thicker sauce, allow the tomato juice to cool completely and skim off the excess water.