Have you ever wondered what the orange colored flakes are on your Mexican fruit cup? It’s called Tajín and it’s a seasoning that combines two of Mexico’s most popular flavors – chili and lime. I’ve loved this seasoning for many years now but didn’t know much about it until I recently did a little research to discover its origin.
Empresas Tajín is a Mexican company founded by Horacio Fernandez in 1985 and located in Jalisco, Mexico. Fernandez’s grandmother originally created this seasoning as a sauce but Fernandez wanted to mass produce it worldwide so he set out to recreate it in powder form. This involved a process to dehydrate chilis and limes which he perfected. After Fernandez visited the pre-Colombian archeological site, El Tajín, in Veracruz, Mexico, he learned the word “aji” means chile in the Uto-Aztecan language of Nahuatl. This is when he decided to name his chile and lime powder, Tajín.
Tajín seasoning entered the US market in 1993 and it is now the number one chili lime seasoning in the US. It is often added to fruits like watermelon, mango, oranges, papaya and cucumbers. But it can also be added to foods like popcorn for a little kick, meats for a little marinade, and fruit juice for some zip. I love the way popcorn tastes when using tajín – instead of adding salt, add a dash of tajín when the popcorn is hot and it’s fabulous! Adding it to cocktails is also fun. In fact, you may have had it on the rim of a glass and didn’t realize it, much like you add salt to a margarita. It is also used as an ingredient in micheladas, a Mexican beer cocktail. I had one in Mexico in March and WOW…it was delish!
Some people might look at this orangish-red seasoning and think it’s quite spicy, but it’s more of a flavoring with a little kick so no need to be afraid to try it for fear of setting your mouth on fire. Personally, I love using it on grilled corn (elote) and adding a dash to guacamole when I make it at home. There is also a low sodium version available and I bought it to try and quite frankly, I didn’t see a difference between the classic and this one.
Tajín is showing up everywhere these days. I recently found these mango fruit pops at the grocery store and I literally stopped in my tracks! I brought a box home and, boy oh boy…I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the refreshing flavor of mango with this seasoning. Cool with a touch of heat…
Can you tell I’m a fan? Tajín is so popular these days that it can be found at almost all grocery stores. I’ve even found it at Walgreens! Give it a try, and if you use this seasoning with something that I haven’t mentioned here and love the flavor, let me know! I would love to hear what you think of this delish seasoning!