What Does Chamoy Taste Like?

Can you imagine a hot sauce that is also sweet, spicy, and sour at the same time? While it sounds like a good prank for your annoying friend, there is a product like this!

People consider it a delicacy and a delight.

Its name is chamoy and it is an important element in Mexican cuisine. Chamoy may range from a liquid to paste consistency and you can find countless uses for it.

What does chamoy taste like?

Chamoy sauce taste is a mix of:

  • Salty: from the brine. It can vary depending on how much salt the brine has.
  • Sweet: from the fruit and also from the sugar. More sugar makes it sweeter and also reduces the heat chili powder brings.
  • Sour from the fruits and the vinegar: Usually fruits are sour-ish by nature. But for those who want one more level of sourness, vinegar is used in the brining process.
  • Spicy from chilly powder: Even though spicy is not a taste at all, but a sensation, we can’t ignore the heat and stings in our mouths whenever we try something hot. So, depending on the quantity of chili powder, it can vary from mildly spicy hot to very hot.
  • Fruity from the infusion of fruits. Fruits often come with a sour-sweet taste or a salty sweet-sour one. In the case of orange, lemon, or another citrus, a bright citrusy taste will be present.

This is the base for every Chamoy sauce, but you can further add other things. You can play with every ingredient and ratio you want.

Chamoy sauce ingredients

You can also find a dry chamoy mix, but you will usually find the liquid version. It is a special fruity hot sauce with a tangy and sweet flavor and taste.

Apricots are the most used fruit base. You can also use plums and mangos. The first step is brining the fruit.

With the help of osmosis, it gets dry and the fruity flavor and taste infuse the brine. Sometimes vinegar is present because it brings a sour taste. The dried fruit is sold as a snack named ‘saladitos’.

Apricots are used to create chamoy and give its taste.

The brine is seasoned to taste with chili powder, becoming what we know as chamoy. You can keep it like this, or you can make it thicker. Mix it with pureed fruits for a more tangy fruity taste. Or add some sugar to sweeten it.

Making chamoy is a simple process and it only requires time. Ingredients are accessible and easy to play with: you can make it more sweet, salty, or sour. It is your choice!

History of chamoy

We don’t know 100% where chamoy comes from, but the main path leads to Asia, China, and Japan.

Articles like Chamoy Is Mexico’s Flavor Fiesta Condiment, Courtesy Of China say that chamoy was inspired by “see mui,” a salty, dried apricot common in China” and that it “took hundreds of years to work its way into popular Mexican culture.”

We also find that chamoy wasn’t a thing until the years ‘90, which is not that far from the present.

Other articles like Popular Mexican Snacks Originated in Japan and The Japanese Connection: A Japanese Immigrant and the Origin of Chamoy say that Japanese immigrants brought with them something close to chamoy, which was adapted for the locals.

Chamoy finds its origins in other parts of the world. We can find similar products in Asia and the Pacific Ocean. It adapted to local culinary preferences in Mexico and now it is widely used there.

Using chamoy as sauce

  1. As a dipping sauce for your fries, chips, or veggie chips. Usually, it is hot.
  2. To drizzle on different pies, tarts, puff pastries, and other solid/dense foods.
  3. As a dessert topping for desserts like Icecream, fruit pies, or Mangonada.
  4. In marinades. Most of the time, it goes with meat, but you can also marinate vegetables if you are a vegetarian.
  5. Mix it with fresh fruit like acai or pickled fruit for a snack.
Four chamoy ice creams.

We can see that it has a wide range of use. You will find it in savory foods, as a salad dressing, and in indifferent drinks and fruit juices (orange juice, mangonada, sunshine cocktail). There is even a Mexican candy covered with it (candy apple).

Based on this, we can say that Mexican foods pair well with this sauce due to its versatility

Powdered chamoy

As a seasoning powder, we have something called Tajin. Usually, people refer to it as the ‘dry chamoy’, but there are some differences between them.

Tajin is a base mixture of dry ground lemon, salt, and chili powder. Sometimes it contains lime seasoning. It is used for decorating plates, marinades (when mixed with liquids), and spicy Mexican condiments.

If spices are your thing, you might want to read our article about curry’s taste.

Chamoy’s nutritional values

Depending on the ratios of each ingredient used, chamoy can be healthy or bad for you.

  1. Salt is an essential nutrient that has to be replenished constantly. But it has to be in small quantities. FDA is placing the upper limit on consumption at 2.300 mg/day for a normal person, but it is hard to not eat more due to its large use in processed foods. That leads to a consumption of 3.400 mg on average/day. Salt helps in replenishing electrolytes and any disturbance in this process leads to a disease called Hypokalemia.
  2. Studies on animals and humans have found that acetic acid (a component of vinegar) may help in digestion and fat assimilation. But acetic acid comes with some unpleasant side effects that can become a health problem in certain conditions.
  3. Sugar is an essential carbohydrate for our body. A small quantity can boost your energy. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consumption of not more than 10% of your calories in form of sugar. For a 2.000 calories diet, that means no more than 200 kcal ( about 12 tablespoons).
  4. While chili powder comes with a wide range of nutrients, its consumption should be in quantities that your body can accept. Spicy foods have anti-inflammatory properties, but they can also be irritant (in case you have an ulcer for example).

Did you know

  1. Today you can find chamoy everywhere in Mexico and Southern US. But most of it doesn’t resemble anymore with the original recipe. It has things like corn syrup, and high amounts of sugar and they are very processed.
  2. Chamoy is so appreciated that you can find it even on candies. Several companies are making candies drizzled with chamoy or chamoy powder. Usually, they are chewy or gummy.
  3. Going back to its origins in Asia, chamoy lacked chili powder and lime juice. People from today’s Mexico area adopted and created the version we can find today.

Final words

If you are looking for a strong, intense, and tangy sauce for your fries or chips, chamoy should be your first choice! Its sweet, sour, and spiced taste creates an explosion whenever you eat it.

Together with the heat, it creates a unique culinary experience. It will make your tastebuds crave for more!

And if you are making your own, you can play with each element as you wish! You can add more fruits. Or come with some new ones and create your recipe.

You can add cinnamon and ginger for a unique spiciness, or you can go with more vinegar for something sour! It is up to you and your personal preferences.

The perfect chamoy recipe lies somewhere in front of you, waiting for you to find it.