#64 – Tajin and Chamoy
#64 – Tajin and Chamoy
This is Recipe Roundup Episode 64. I don’t often miss living in Los Angeles, and I could probably dismiss the city altogether except for the food. California is expensive, but somehow it was always possible to find great cuisine in the city of Angels at a variety of price points. My apartment was on the edge of Little Armenia and Thai Town, so delicious food was never more than a block away. And while LA has lots of great Mexican street food, today’s focus is something you can find almost anywhere in the city – Fresh Fruit Salad.
Fruit Carts are to Los Angeles what hot dog carts are to New York. On a warm day, nothing is better than wandering up to a cart and having your choice of mango, berries, melon, pineapple, and other fresh fruits, chopped and prepared to order. While you can order the fruit plain, the typical way to eat it is with the addition of two popular Mexican condiments – Tajin and Chamoy!
Tajin is an extremely popular brand of lime chili salt. It can be put on just about anything, but it really packs a special zing when put on fresh fruit. I know people around these parts who already put salt and pepper on their melons in the summer – this just takes that to the next level. I’ve recently seen Tajin at the larger grocery stores like Kroger or Walmart. Chamoy is perhaps a little less familiar to this region unless you already enjoy a variety of Mexican candy. Chamoy is a type of condiment made of pickled fruit and chiles. It’s tangy, fruity, sour, and a little bit spicy. It can sometimes be a paste, but can be seen in a saucier form in much of the Mexican street food in America. Like Tajin, it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Chamoy can be found at International or Mexican grocery stores.
If the combination of sweet, sour, and spicy sounds lovely to you, I highly recommend taking a deeper look at these two ingredients as well as some Mexican candy. If you aren’t ready to commit to a whole bottle of Chamoy, keep your eyes peeled for Mexican ice cream shops or paletas – Mexican popsicles that are made with fresh fruit and sometimes Chamoy! There are also a lot of online recipes for homemade chamoy – I hope to try some of these throughout the summer. It’s always fun to try new things and the mouthwatering flavor of these two condiments are no exception!