Culture

The New York Times Honestly Just Discovered Tajín And Their Love For It Is Kind Of The Sweetest

tajinusa / Instagram

Tajín is a special chile y limon spice mix that is as much a part of Mexican culture as elotes and paletas. You can use it on so many different foods and the most obvious choice is on fresh fruit. That brand of salty sweet crystals that you put on top of pieces of fruit is fast becoming the recognizable spice of choice for chefs and foodies around the U.S. It is just one way that Latino culture is permeating American culture.

The New York Times is finally giving Tajín, the most iconic Mexican kitchen staple, a moment to shine in the national spotlight.

Any Mexican and Mexican-American will swear by this seasoning. It is everywhere and on everything. The taste of the spicy-lime flavor amplifies the naturally sweet flavor of ripe fruit and gives a deep profile to frozen paletas on hot summer days. The aroma wafting out of a freshly opened bottle will change the world as you know it.

The New York Times recently published an article praising the bright red chile salt and, honestly, it’s about time.

Tajín has been around for over three decades, since 1985. However, the iconic concoction didn’t break into the U.S. market until 1993. It is literally as well-known and adored by Mexican families as Chamoy, a sauce created using fermented chiles and fruits also used on all kinds of foods.

Legit, people never leave their house without this seasoning because you never know when you’re going to need it.

Legions of ride-or-die Tajín fans have been sprinkling the seasoning since they were kids. It’s almost a rite of passage—start off with fruit and then as you get older, rims of margarita or cocktails get a dash of Tajín. It’s the cycle of life so many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have enjoyed.

The article, written by Daniela Galarza, gave people a look at the history of the incredible seasoning.

If sprinkling tajín is a lifestyle, then everyone from your corner bionicos shop that has just the right amount of red dusting on your spears of pepino and chunks of sandia, to Bon Appetit magazine’s recipe listings, are stanning tajín—just the way food royalty should be treated, tbh.

It’s one of the most spectacular fandoms known to the food world.

The article explains that even though the company was founded in Guadalajara in 1985, the U.S. has become a massive market. According to The New York Times, 40 percent of the market for Tajín is in the U.S. where Mexican-Americans make up 11.3 percent of the total U.S. population. Mexican-Americans also make up 63.2 percent of the Latino population in the U.S.

In case you weren’t sure, the love for Tajín is so strong and transcends man-made borders.

“I can’t even imagine a time before Tajín, or before salts flavored with lime and chile,” Mariana Gomez Rubio, a culinary consultant in Mexico City told The New York Times.

This social media user said the red seasoning was there for her when she had a health condition.

The popularity of this chile-flavored salt (its main ingredients include dried chiles de árbol, guajillo and pasilla, dehydrated lime and salt) that has its roots in Zapopan, Jalisco.

And it looks so good when it is used appropriately, which it is hard to use it inappropriately.

It is a great way to make sure that you are eating all of your fruits and veggies. After all, we could all be eating more of the heathy stuff and is this makes it easier, then why now.

Imagine coming across these spice and citrusy cucumbers in your house after a long day at work.

Grab a tissue so you don’t drool on your phone. We know you can’t get enough of Tajín and that is normal. We all have a love affair with this one-of-a-kind treat.

Recipes for everything from desserts (this innovative chef paired the chile-lime salt with chocolate and bananas to make fluffy banana bread) to NYT reader-suggested pineapple chunks have been making the Internet and social media rounds from true fans.

The sight of red chile sprinkled #TajinMoments is only going to increase. The brand has announced collabs with Pinkberry, On the Border spiced tortilla chips, and Snak Club for peach ring candy, peanuts and trail mix.

The company is betting on its continued success and is expanding into a larger facility in Jalisco later this year. It has also started looking into making a push into Pakistan, India, and Japan—countries that also like to use spices in their cooking.

Nice, nice—getting worldwide, Tajín!

Along with its buddies chamoy and Tapatio sauce, we see Tajín enjoying its golden days for years (and perhaps decades) to come around the world.

Are you a fan? Tell us your favorite tajín recipe in the comments and share this article with your friends!

READ: These 20 Delicious Latino Snacks You Need To Be In Your Life Permanently

The McDonalds Happy Meal Was Invented By A Latina And Here’s How It Got Started

Entertainment

The McDonalds Happy Meal Was Invented By A Latina And Here’s How It Got Started

David Paul Morris / Getty Images

Did you know that the first ever Happy Meal was created by a Latina? That’s right, in the mid-70s when Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño was operating various McDonalds in Guatemala, she invented what she dubbed the “Menu Ronald”. The “Menu Ronald”  was invented to help parents keep their kids satisfied when the family went out to eat. The original “Menu Ronald” included a hamburger, small fries and a small sundae. Naturally, word eventually got back to McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago they decided to adopt the practice as their own. They hired a white American man to develop the idea (and subsequently take credit for it) and voila! The Happy Meal was born.

It’s unfortunate that Fernández de Cofiño’s recognition has been lost to the American public, but it’s still inspiring to know that there were business-minded Latinx people in history whose achievements still impact our lives today. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve decided to celebrate the underrated Latina entrepreneur Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño for the marketing genius that she was. We’ve documented the evolution of Happy Meal toys from the idea’s inception and launch in the 1970s, to its continuing legacy today.

Take a look below for a nostalgic blast from the past!

1. 1979: The Very First Happy Meal

via Pinterest

Although the original concept of the Happy Meal was invented by Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño, the first official launch of the American Happy Meal happened in 1979. However, the gift wasn’t half as elaborate as it was now. According to records the toys were “a McDoodle stencil, a McWrist wallet, an ID bracelet, a puzzle lock, a spinning top or a McDonaldland character-shaped eraser”.

2. 1984: Ronald and The Gang

 thegoodtoyshop via Ebay

McDonalds Happy Meal toys evolved from spinning tops and erasers to more complex toys. Like, the above “Ronald and the Gang” wind-up cars that were defitenly a step-up from McDonald’s earlier toys. They weren’t as sophisticated as the toys would eventually get, though.

3. 1987: Mc-Transformers

Reddit User gnarrdan

The Transformers/McDonalds mashup was innovative in its day because it was blending the IP of two successful brands. Instead of McDonald’s using its Happy Meal to market other products, it was using its Happy Meal to market other products that were marketing McDonalds. It was a win-win situation.

4. 1988: McNuggets Buddies

EBAY USER MCJANTONE

In 1988, McDonalds hadn’t yet started to do marketing tie-ins with kids’ movies. Instead, they had prizes like “McNuggets Buddies”, which were chicken nuggets dressed in various outfits and costumes. This lasted until the mid-90s.

5. 1994: Sonic the Hedgehog

@NascaronReddit/Twitter

By the mid-90s, the powers-that-be recognized that there was a lucrative market to tap by using Happy Meals to advertise kid-oriented products directly to kids. It was around this time that the entertainment industry really began to see the potential for promoting movies and TV shows through fast-food chains. And if you look at the advertisement above, the Happy Meal only cost $1.99. Those were the days!

6. 1996: 101 Dalmatians

EBAY USER KINGDADDY50

Never the one to pass up an opportunity to advertise, Disney quickly hopped on board the McDonalds train as a means to promote their movies. One of the first Disney x Mcdonald’s ventures were the release of literally one-hundred-and-one collectible dalmatian figurines through their Happy Meals.

7. 1997: “Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection”

Youtube via FastFoodToyReviews

Off the success of their 101 Dalmatians toys, Disney and McDonalds continued their partnership by releasing tiny VHS boxes equipped with a a little toy character from the movie. People really began to see collecting fast food toys as a hobby around this time.

8. Mid-90s: “Teenie Babies”

EBAY User BDK84

Even McDonalds wasn’t immune to the Beanie Baby craze that swept the nation in the mid-90s. Convinced that they would one day be worth thousands, collectors flocked to the Golden Arches to get their hands on miniature versions of the popular plush toys. Unfortunately, most of the “Teenie Baby” toys aren’t worth anything these days.

9. 1997-Now: Barbies

EBAY User PERFECTSHIP

In 1997, McDonald’s started a lucrative partnership with the Barbie line of toys that would last until today. What young girl doesn’t have memories of getting this in their Happy Meal box (whether they liked it or not) while their brother got a Hot Wheels car? It’s safe to say the ’90s weren’t progressive, gender-wise.

10. 2004: Hello Kitty Keychains

Youtube via Lucky Penny Shop

Into the 2000s, McDonald’s took advantage of the Hello Kitty trend by offering plush Hello Kitty key chains in their Happy Meals.

11. 2015: Minion Fever

Ebay user BOB_THE_SPY

Do you remember the time when you couldn’t escape “Despicable Me” minion merchandising, no matter where you went? Well, that included McDonalds. Nowhere was safe.

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

Culture

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

While the Internet might call it “Ghey Corn,” this rainbow-colored corn variety is officially dubbed Glass Gem corn. Not only are there a rainbow of colorful kernels, but they’re also shiny, prompting the ‘Glass’ description. The person responsible for our new favorite, gay-friendly corn is a man by the name of Carl Barnes, who passed in 2016. Barnes enjoyed his life in Oklahoma and cultivated his own personal seed bank passed down from his Cherokee ancestors. Barnes chose to save and replant the seeds from the cobs with the most color, and eventually developed strains of vibrant corn.

One day, Barnes decided to move and asked his friend, Greg Schoen, to protect the seeds. Schoen grew a small handful of the seeds and was shocked when he peeled back the corn stalk to reveal rows and rows of shiny, rainbow-colored corn. Schoen was so excited, he posted the image to his Facebook, and it promptly went viral. Soon, the two cultivated enough seeds to sell online, and people around the country have grown gorgeous varieties.

Green thumbs around the world bought satchels of the precious seed and the following season, were “blown away.”

Credit: @watermicrobe / Twitter

While Schoen may have initiated the first viral sensation over Glass Gem corn in 2012, Ameet Pinto’s viral post has become Mother Nature’s best queer bait yet. With over 7k likes, “I STAN GAY CORN” is the most liked comment. Then, “Taste the rainbow.” 

Some people literally cannot believe this is corn, accusing Pinto of creating a jelly bean cob.

Credit: @mr_plantgeek / Twitter

“Those are just jellybeans ur not foolin me!!!!!” commented one unbeliever. Someone else seems to think that a profitable venture would be to sell the kernels as jelly beans as a scam. Still, others are bringing the negativity to this rainbow party, assuming that because the cob looks different from the mono-crop, that it must be a GMO frankencorn. “Glad to see people trying to live in Chernobyl,” tweets one disbelieving Shane. 

Glass Gem corn is not a GMO crop.

Credit: @Rainmaker1973 / Twitter

In fact, this variety likely healthier than the corn you might buy at a store, which may have been genetically modified rather than artificially selected. Barnes artificially selected the prettiest corn from his crop and decided to grow from those seeds the following year.

When folks hear the story of Carl Barnes, it just adds a whole new depth to the color.

Credit: @CwdickD / Twitter

“Fun fact about these is that they were discovered by a dude who was half-Cherokee and he started growing a sh**load of different corn types to reconnect with his heritage,” tweeted one person. As Barnes was artificially selecting which corn kernels he’d store as seeds for the next year, he grew closer with his Cherokee heritage.

For those of you expecting rainbow colored popcorn, don’t.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

All that’s left of the kernel when you pop the corn is usually that brown kernel skin that gets stuck in your teeth. In the case of Glass Gem corn, you can sort of make out the varying colors of popped kernels, but the popcorn itself is the same color as regular Joe Schmoe popcorn.

The Glass Gem corn isn’t that sweet.

Credit: @SlowFoodUSA / Twitter

According to Pinto, the corn isn’t sweet like yellow corn, so it doesn’t make for good fresh esquites or elotes. All popcorn comes from different varieties of corn that you have to dehydrate to turn into cornmeal or popcorn. “We’ll be eating some colorful popcorn this winter,” Ameet tweeted.

There’s even a Facebook group for Glass Gem growers to share their growing tips and cooking tips.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

In case you were wondering, the Facebook group “Glass Gem Corn” says you can prepare creamy Glass Gem polenta by following these instructions: “Pour into a shallow pan to cool. Cut into squares and lightly brown in a sauté pan.” We don’t know how you do it but keep on making gay polenta, please.

All in all, the Internet is pretty a-maize-d by the gay corn.

Credit: @DonConklin5 / Twitter

“Corn says lgbtq rights,” tweeted one stan. We’re with them. This is one of those moments that we’re allowed to be in wonder over how indigenous folks cultivate the land.

READ: Oaxaca Is Mexico’s Cultural Capital And Home To Its Largest Indigenous Communities, Here’s What You Need To Know