According to food writer Sharon Tyler Herbst, pico de gallo ("rooster's beak") is named thus because originally people ate it by pinching pieces between the thumb and forefinger.
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.
The Spanish picar means "to chop" or "to bite" (in the sense of a spicy chili having a "bite"); in the first person conjugation, picar becomes pico.
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