Tasty Tajín

Tajín Finds A Home In Houston

A deep dive into what the chili lime seasoning does for the Bayou City.

By Carolina Larracilla November 24, 2021

Tajín is made up of three simple and mild, but powerfully flavorful ingredients.

Image: Tajín

TAJÍN. THAT SIMPLE, TWO-SYLLABLE word that conjures up images of a heavenly chili, lime, and sea salt shower straight onto your sliced mango. Most of us know all about the #1 chili lime seasoning in the U.S, but what we don’t know is that one of our favorite brands makes its home right under our noses--its U.S. headquarters are right here in Houston.

When Empresas Tajín decided to make its move into the U.S., it chose Houston because of its hispanically-influenced food culture and proximity to Mexico. Fifteen years later, Houston has become proof of the reasons behind Tajín’s transition.

“When we communicate our product to the general market, we always think of the different kinds of cultures--asian, hispanic, black, white. Houston represents all of these ethnicities,” President of International Sales Javier Leyva says. “We know that if a product is doing well here in Houston, it can do well in the rest of the U.S. 

But it was the people who made this change possible. When Mexicans moved to the U.S. from Guadalajara (the birthplace of tequila, mariachi, and Tajín) and other cities, they brought with them the traditional way to eat Tajín--with fruits and veggies.

“When you have a bar in your house, or you go to someone’s house to grill, or whatever you’re invited to, you come with the things you want to share, and one of these things is Tajín,” Leyva says.

In Houston, however, people have a greater variety of diverse foods in their daily life, making exploration into new uses natural.

“This summer, the use of Tajín in grilling is very popular,” Leyva says. “Because of the pandemic, people prefer to throw parties at home, and because of that they started using Tajín in different foods--eggs, pizza, seafood, ramen, wings, and meats.”

Tajín’s three simple, mild, but powerfully flavorful ingredients made it possible for it to be incorporated across cultures.

“You can add it to your favorite food, no matter what kind or culture it is, and Tajín won’t cover the taste,” Leyva says. “It enhances the natural flavor of the food.”

Now, there are restaurants in Houston where Tajín is at every table.

“Julep on Washington Ave. mixes Tajin in its vinaigrette for its arugula and watermelon salad,” Public Relations Manager Marisol Espinosa says. “Sushi eatery Izakaya features the seasoning in various menu items. Cafe Tropicales dusts its yuca fries with it and at the Chinatown juice bar Zero Degrees, you can order a Spicy Watermelon slushy mixed with Tajin. Of course, there are countless bars that mix Tajin in their cocktails such as Bar Boheme, Ouisie’s and Eight Row Flint.”

Essentially, you can find Tajín wherever you go, Leyva tells Houstonia, from a Mexican restaurant to an Asian market. It even makes an appearance at local events throughout the year, including Houston Food Fest, Texas Association for School Nutrition, and Chinese Lunar New Year. Tajín is actually so popular in Houston that its Tajín sauce was launched right here.

“Last week, I was traveling in the George Bush airport with a backpack full of Tajín sauce,” Leyva says. “People came up to me, asked me for samples. People of different nationalities and cultures smile when they see Tajín and they want to share how they use it.”

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