Across the country in New York City, Tajín is also a staple ingredient at La Newyorkina, a sweets shop known for their ice cream and paletas, or Mexican popsicles. Where does a spicy seasoning salt fit in in a dessert shop?
“We use it to sprinkle on all our fruit based paletas and for chamoyadas,” a sweet yet spicy shaved ice or sorbet, explains Fany Gerson, the chef and founder of La New Yorkina. Customers are encouraged to spice up their popsicles to their heart’s desire with a counter full of different seasonings -- from a syrupy pickled plum sauce, known to many as chamoy, to ground chipotle peppers. Of course, Tajín makes an appearance as well. “It’s probably the most popular chile blend we have in our chile station at the shop,” Gerson confirmed.
The appeal of Tajín has much to do with its explosive flavor that’s convenient to add to anything. A sprinkle is all you need to heighten a mug of Mexican hot chocolate or intensify a breakfast grapefruit. “I love putting salt, chile, and fresh lime juice to season a lot of stuff -- as a lot of other Mexicans like myself do,” Gerson explained. “[With Tajín], you have it all in one.”
Unlike hot sauce, Tajín, which has a powder-like texture, isn't as mess-prone. It also adds flavor and heat without adding liquid to a dish. Crucial say if you want to sprinkle it over a batch of popcorn as Viramontes suggests. But like hot sauce, it's easy to keep some Tajín in your bag. The company sells individual to-go packets that can easily be slotted away in a purse or wallet. For those looking for a version with a bit more heat, there is now a blend made with habaneros.
In general, bottles of Tajín clock in at around $3, a small price to pay for an ingredient that can take a simple ear of corn or summertime popsicle to new heights. If you’ve yet to sprinkle Tajín on your fruit, corn, ice cream, or even in your coffee, consider the magic that a tiny bit of salt, chile, and dehydrated lime can add to your life. You can thank me later.