The seasoning powder is increasingly popular — and one taste will tell you why.

By Julie Tremaine
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You've probably seen it before, even if you don't know what it is — that red seasoning all over cut pieces of fresh fruit. Is it spicy? Is it sweet? And it's all over fruit?

Yes, yes, and yes. Tajín combines two of Mexican cuisine's signature flavors: chili spice and citrus. And it's become so popular over its 35 years that The New York Times said that, rather than simply being a seasoning, "Tajín is a lifestyle." While it was invented in 1985 and debuted in America in 1993, the seasoning has really exploded in popularity since 2012, and is now available in 35 countries. Thrillist reported that sales of Tajin have tripled in North America in recent years.

What Is Tajiín Seasoning?

What's commonly called "Tajín" is really "Tajín Clásico," the first and most popular condiment made by Empresas Tajín in Jalisco, Mexico. It's made with ground, dried chile peppers (a blend of chiles de árbol, guajillo and pasilla), dehydrated lime and sea salt. The company also makes a lower sodium version and a spicier habanero version, in addition to snack sauces.

While the color — and the combination of three hot peppers — might be off-putting to people who don't love spice, this seasoning actually isn't all that spicy. It's more of a mild warmth that's also salty and citrusy at once. Tajín started out as a seasoning to enhance fresh fruit and vegetables like mango, pineapple, melon, jicama, and cucumber — but as the product grew in popularity, people started using it anywhere and everywhere.

Ways to Use Tajiín Seasoning

It adds a punch to guacamole or grilled corn; it can be part of a marinade on poultry, meats and fish; and it's commonly used as a tabletop condiment that's an alternative to plain salt. Cocktails are another story. Use Tajín as a seasoning in a Michelada, as a rimmer on a bloody mary, or to add an extra something to a margarita, spicy or not. True connoisseurs sprinkle it liberally on popcorn, calling it a game changer.

Buy it: from $3.80; amazon.com

While you don't really need a recipe to incorporate Tajin into your cooking repertoire, a little inspiration never hurt anyone. Check out these Roasted Tajin Pumpkin Seeds, Air Fryer Tajin Apple Chips or Sweet Potato Fries, and this Tajin Fruit Salad.

You could also get creative and formulate your own, with your personal selection of dried chiles and different kinds of citrus zest and finishing salts — then put it on whatever you like. The sky is the limit.

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