What Is Tajin—and Why Are People Obsessed with It?

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021

Try Tajin on freshly sliced melon and mango!

Move over, cumin—some consider Tajin to be the seasoning of choice south of the border. Eating healthy, eating fresh and enjoying it? It’s possible with Tajin—and a lot cheaper than a flight to Mexico.

What Is Tajin?

For the uninitiated, Tajin is a delicious Mexican seasoning. It consists of dried and ground red chilies (a combination of chiles de arbol, guajillo and pasillo), sea salt and dehydrated lime juice. It combines the tastes of salt, sweet, sour and heat for a zing-like effect that punches up raw fruit and vegetables.

It’s pronounced ta-HEEN, which shouldn’t surprise Spanish speakers. Tajin was founded in Guadalajara in 1985, and the company now sells products in over 35 countries. In Mexico, a bottle of Tajin in the cupboard is as common as an American family’s bottle of seasoning salt.

What Is Tajin Good On?

Mexicans traditionally sprinkle Tajin on sliced mango and juicy watermelon. Think of it as a chile lime salt that makes summer’s produce bounty taste even better!

I first tasted Tajin sprinkled on a fresh coconut that was cracked open with a machete on the beach in Los Cabos, Mexico. The chile lime salt sparked against the nutty coconut flesh, and I was instantly hooked. You might say it was love at first bite.

The combination of sweet, salty and spicy enhanced the coconut. I started brainstorming all the ways I could use Tajin in my own kitchen. I flew home with two Tajin bottles in my suitcase, planning to give one away as a gift—but ultimately kept them both for myself. (Sorry, mom.) Back home, I still regularly reach for Tajin, especially to shake on fresh produce—machete not required.

I also like to use Tajin on crunchy slivers of cucumber, as the finishing touch on avocado toast and as an updated rim for flavorful bloody Marys and Mexican micheladas. Another thing Tajin is good on? Popcorn!

You can also mix Tajin with sour cream to create a citrusy dip, perfect for veggie sticks and pita chips. Celebrity chefs are also in on the Tajin game. Claudia Sandoval, winner of the sixth season of the United States edition of MasterChef, adds Tajin to her recipe for seven-layer dip.

Where to Buy Tajin

Not headed to Mexico anytime soon? Don’t worry, you can find various sizes of Tajin seasoning on Amazon, at Walmart and at Target. Tajin also makes a convenient rimmer package for bloody Marys. And, if you love the sweet and spicy combination, treat yourself to a bag of Tajin peach rings!

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