What Is Tajín Made of? Everything to Know About the Beloved Spice Blend

published May 4, 2024
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overhead shot of a bottle of tajin with a small bowl of it to the left of the bottle.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

You’ve probably seen the bottles of bright orange-red seasoning in the grocery store, or maybe you’ve just heard about the dried spice blend called Tajín Clasico that can be found sprinkled on everything from grilled corn on the cob to mango paletas to spicy micheladas. But … what IS it? And how do you use it? Here, we break down everything you need to know about this popular spice blend.

Quick Overview

What Is Tajín?

Tajín (pronounced ta-HEEN) Clasico is a Mexican spice blend made of dried ground árbol, guajillo, and pasilla chiles, dehydrated ground lime, and salt.

What Does Tajín Taste Like?

Despite being primarily a blend of chile peppers, Tajín is only mildly spicy. Its flavor is a blend of spicy, sour, and salty. 

When Was Tajín Invented?

Empresas Tajín, the company that makes Tajín Clasico, was founded in 1985 in Mexico by Horacio Fernandez. Per Thrillist, the story goes that Hernando wanted to make a condiment with the flavors of a chile sauce his grandmother made and he liked to eat on corn. He found the name for his seasoning on a trip to an archeological site in southern Mexico called “El Tajín.” 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

Ingredients in Tajín Seasoning

Tajín Clasico is a blend of dried ground chiles (chile de árbol, guajillo, and pasilla), dehydrated ground lime, sea salt, and a small amount of anticaking agent. There are many varieties of Tajín including a low-sodium version, a spicy habanero version, a sweet and spicy blend that includes sugar, as well as hot sauces.

How to Use Tajín Seasoning

The well balanced chile-lime flavor of Tajín is extremely versatile. It, of course, pairs well with corn, as its founder intended, but is also right at home sprinkled on fruit or avocado toast. It makes a great seasoning for eggs, chicken, or shrimp. It even makes a great Chex mix. Try it mixed into cocktails like a bloody mary or dusted on the rim of a classic margarita or a spicy michelada

Where to Buy Tajín

Tajín is available in many grocery stores. You can also find Tajín — and its many varieties and adjacent products — from online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

How to Store Tajin 

Tajín, like all spices, will not last forever. Ground spices lose flavor and potency over time, and are best stored away from heat and light. Best practice for storing spices is to keep them in a cool, dark, dry place like inside a cabinet, drawer, or pantry. Avoid storing spices near a window or the stove. Ground spices typically last between three and six months with proper storage before they start to lose some of their flavor. Check the packaging of your Tajín for its specific expiration date.