Forget Salt on Watermelon: Southerners Should Try Tajin Chile-Lime Seasoning Instead

Give your favorite fruit a punch of extra flavor.

Tajin on Watermelon
Photo: Getty Images/Kevin Reid

During the summertime, no unusual Southern food combination gets quite as much flack as salt on watermelon. Coming from a region that also enjoys duos such as peanuts and Coca-Cola, as well as pineapple and mayonnaise, it shouldn't come across as such a surprise. There's even a logical reason why Southerners love to sprinkle a bit of sodium on the fruit, and that's because some find that it makes the watermelon taste better. Really, how different is the concept than your aunt's watermelon-tomato-feta salad? Sweet and salty have long existed on complementary ends of a delicious spectrum, after all.

If you're not quite ready to accept and test out salt on watermelon, there's a different seasoning that people enjoy topping fresh fruit with: Tajin chile-lime seasoning. A favorite seasoning mix used in Tex-Mex foods in the South and originally hailing from Mexico, Tajin is a blend of chili peppers, lime, and salt. Together, the ingredients make for the perfect salty, citrusy, subtle spice.

While Tajin is often used in savory foods, it's also popular on sweeter foods and drinks such as fresh fruit and margaritas. This means that when watermelon season rolls into the South, Texans and anyone else in-the-know are breaking out the Tajin. Just as salt accentuates and brings out the sweetness and juiciness of fresh watermelon, so does Tajin—except with a much bigger punch of flavor. Imagine a bite that is sweet, salty, zingy, and with a little kick of spice. A bite that makes your mouth immediately water for more. That's Tajin on watermelon.

In addition to providing Southerners yet another way to gussy up fresh watermelon, Tajin also makes other fruits taste even more delicious, especially whatever's in season. Some of our favorite recommendations include pineapple, peaches, mango, and cantaloupe. Simply cut up your fruit of choice, and sprinkle generously with the chile-lime seasoning salt. You've got the most refreshing snack. Tajin is available at most grocery stores, so stock up on your next trip.

Now, we can't say much about the gaggle of Southerners who like to put mustard on their watermelons, but to each their own!

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