Pros: Lower in sodium than salt itself, adds flavor to some foods
Cons: Distracts from flavor of already flavorful fruits
My grandpa always salted his watermelon and mushmelon (a/k/a canteloupe). I did when I was a kid, and got out of the habit as I grew and became more aware of sodium and its link to heart disease, etc. Recently, on a trip to the produce section of Wal Mart, I noticed a product in a small plastic bottle called "tajin". The clear bottle revealed the contents to be a coarsely ground sprinkle with a label colored red, while and green, the colors of the Mexican flag. The display holding the bottles showed a woman eating what looked like a nectarine she had sprinkled with the product.
What's in it?
The bottle reads (in Spanish and English) that the product is the "Ultimate Fruit Booster" and that it contains chile peppers, salt and dehydrated lime juice and Silicon Dioxide to prevent caking.
Per the tajin website (tajin.com), 1/4 teaspoon of the blend has 154 mg of sodium, compared to 575 mg of sodium for 1/4 teaspoon of table salt.
How does it taste/smell?
When you open the cap, this product smells tart, bitter, and tannic. It does not look or smell like anything I'd want to put on fruit. I have tried it on peaches, nectarines, mango, and melon. It did not seem to boost the sweetness of anything but the melon. It tastes salty, peppery and tart and develops the sweetness of melon. For me, it seemed to distract from the luscious taste of fresh peaches locally grown. Mangoes already have such a strong flavor, to me they do not need a boost. When I must have nectarines or a peach out of season, I find cinnamon to be a better choice to bring out the flavor of a bland fruit.
The website also suggests using this sprinkle on shrimp, on the rim of tomato juice cocktails, etc. After seeing the tomato juice suggestion, I tried the sprinkle on a bite of home-grown tomato and it was delicious. I think it would be very well-suited for shrimp and tomato based products.
So . . .
This is a nice lower-sodium alternative to salt for melon, shrimp dishes and tomato dishes. Skip it for other fruit because it just distracts from the already good flavor.