Shichimi Togarashi and Tajin seasoning salt are two examples of the most popular specialty seasonings used in restaurants, small snacking shops, homes, in confectioneries & bakeries, etc. More details on each specialty seasoning are provided below, including information on what people say about them and how they gained cult following.
1. SHICHIMI TOGARASHI
- Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese dried red chile seasoning blend made of seven ingredients. ‘Shichi‘ means ‘seven’ and ‘mi‘ means ‘taste.’
- The seven ingredients include togarashi (Japanese dried red chile), “sansho (lemony Sichuan peppercorns that make your tongue tingle), dried orange or tangerine peels, dried seawood (nori), sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and garlic. Some blends may swap in dried ginger, yuzu peel, or poppy seeds.”
- The seasoning has made its way to American restaurants and is among the popular seasonings for various foods, including meats, vegetables, snacks, etc.
What People Say about Togarashi Seasoning
- Greg Dunmore, co-owner of a Japanese Pantry says all these Japanese products are on American menus now. The company sells “three types of shichimi togarashi to its growing list of restaurant customers, including Frances in San Francisco.”
- Mexican chef Enrique Olvera who uses the spice blend for a variety of dishes notes that Chilies are primarily found in three countries — Japan, Mexico, and Peru, and has great influence in menus. According to the chef, they receive weekly supplies of togarashi, an ingredient the chef likes a lot because it reminds him of a “mango with chili and the worm salt from Oaxaca.”
- Chef de cuisine Robert Hernandez of San Francisco’s cozy Octavia asserts that togarashi is “one of those things that really enhances an oyster.” Today, the chef uses togarashi liberally to enhance simple, seasonal ingredients and make custom blends.
- Chef Attila Bollock of Barton G., in Los Angeles says he can put togarashi seasoning on just about anything. Overall, sentiments shared by chefs and experts in the seasonings realm confirm that togarashi is an exciting addition to any cuisine due to its great flavors and taste profiles that have inspired others to make their versions of togarashi.
How Togarashi Has Gained Popularity
- Togarashi’s rise to fame and popularity has been driven mainly by consumers’ growing appetite for new and exciting ethnic flavors, as per information shared by the Institute of Food Technologists.
- Chefs are fond of experimenting with new blends they come along during their travels. The behavior results in a ripple-down effect-from chefs to big brands to consumers, which accelerate togarashi’s expanding usage.
- The growth is also driven by the many ethnic restaurants in the U.S., where the chefs often experiment with classic spices, which can eventually give rise to new blends that attract more consumers.
- For example, Chef Jamie Young, of Sunday in Brooklyn drew his inspiration from the togarashi seasoning and decided to make their own great tasting version of togarashi seasoning blend using “fermented chili pulp, citrus peels, burnt coriander, bay leaf, and sea lettuce.”
2. TAJIN SEASONING SALT
- The Tajin seasoning salt embodies great Mexican cuisine flavors and is simply a mix of “chile powder, salt, and dehydrated lime for a mouth-puckering kick.” The salt is often used to season various products, such as cucumbers and pineapples or rim drinks like “Micheladas and Bloody Marys.”
- The seasoning does not include “artificial flavors, artificial colorants, sugars, and complex ingredients.
- Horacia Fernandez invented the seasoning salt in 1985 and brought it to North America in 1993. Today, the seasoning has gained a massive cult following.
What People Say about Tajin Seasoning Salt
- Fany Gerson, the chef and founder of La Newyorkina says, they use Tajin seasoning salt to sprinkle on all their fruit-based paletas and for chamoyadas.”
- La Newyorkina encourages customers to spice up their popsicles using many seasonings, including the Tajin seasoning salt.
- Mexicans love to sprinkle Tajin seasoning salt over fresh fruits and vegetables. They claim it adds an excitingly fresh, citrusy, and piquant taste profiles to the fruit and combines with the fruit’s natural sweetness.
How Tajin Seasoning Salt Gained Popularity
- Tajin salt seasoning popularity can be attributed to increased marketing efforts by the manufacturing company, which has seen sales triple and the product grow by double digits each year.
- Consumers prefer the Tajin seasoning salt flavor due to its versatility and ability to “coax nuanced notes out of something as simple as a fruit salad.”
- The seasoning salt is widely used throughout North America, and one expert notes that all the “Fruteros, eloteros, and local corner snack shops” use the seasoning salt in their daily products.
- In New York city and across the country, Tajin seasoning salt is a staple ingredient at La Newyorkina, a “sweets shop known for their ice cream and paletas” Overall, Tajin seasoning salt appeal emanates from its “explosive flavors that are convenient to add to anything.”