Mexican condiment

Have you heard of chamoy? No? It is a Mexican condiment that imparts a unique flavor to the dishes. What is its origin? What are the ingredients that go into its making? And how can one use it?

What is Chamoy? Its origin

Chamoy is a savory sauce or condiment that is part of Mexican cuisine. It is made from pickled fruits and has added chillis and lemon juice.

Therefore, it is sweet, sour, tangy, and spicy. Moreover, chamoy has a rich flavor and enhances the taste of most dishes. It can be in liquid form or pasty in consistency.

Mexican condiment
Apples layered with Chamoy (Source: Wikipedia)

The origin of this Mexican condiment is uncertain. But it is strongly believed that it came to Mexico from China when the Chinese immigrated to the Central American country between the 16th and 19th centuries.

The original Chinese form of this sauce was made from dried sour and salted plums and berries. On the other hand, some believe that it was brought to Mexico via Filipino immigrants between 1565 to 1815.

In the Philippines, it was made from dried fruits (plums, prunes, apricots) that were pickled in salt water (brine) and vinegar. And there are a few that think that it was brought to Mexico via Japanese immigrants.

Read more: Aguachiles: recipe and health benefits!

In the Mexican version, chamoy has apricots, prunes, plums, and mango with dried chillis and lime juice.

More about the uses of this Mexican condiment

Maya’s Snack Bar is in New York. Alejandro Sanchez from this place states:

“If you never tried it, it’s a very unique flavor. Although there are now variations, the original has a sweet and tangy taste, more like a sweet and sour, and a sweet smell.”

Watermelon, pineapple, and tamarind also go into its making in some places. This chamoy sauce is very versatile and can add flavor and depth to any dish or drink.

One can put it on your favorite fruits such as watermelon, apples, pineapple, or mango. Even vegetables such as cucumber, radish, jicama, and carrots taste awesome with this condiment.

Mexican condiment
Chamoy on mango slices (Source: Epicurious)

You can also put it on the rims of glasses of beer, cocktails, or micheladas. One can also add fruit-flavored rings of gummy candy into this sauce to prepare dulces enchiladas.

Alejandro recommends adding it to homemade paletas or popsicles as a summer treat. You can also make special drinks with it. These include chamoyada.

It is available in supermarkets as liquid, paste, or powder. Purchased chamoy has a longer shelf life and can be stored outside. But homemade sauce has a narrow shelf life and should be refrigerated.

What is chamoyada?

It is a drink made of fruits that are later layered with chamoy sauce. While serving, chamoy and Tajín are used as rim paste. Tamarind candy straws are added to this drink.

Mexican condiment
Chamoyada (Source: Gainesville Times)

Originating from Mexico, it is popular in the USA where the American Mexican population lives, and in Mexican restaurants. Often prepared with kanji juice and hence it is also called charango or chamoyada.

The other flavors of chamoyadas are lemon, guava, tamarind, pineapple, and strawberry or mixed.