Thursday, April 4, 2013

Freaky Fruit-and-Spice Induced Dreams

Up until a few years ago, I had never considered putting spices on fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is already some of the tastiest food you can get on God's green earth, so why would you ever try to spice it up. And, I never heard of anyone else spicing up their fruit. It was a completely foreign idea to me, and I assume it still is to many of you reading this right now.

But, a few years back, a friend of the Wife's gave us a small bottle that was filled with spices, and had a lot of words that looked like they must have been in Spanish on the outside. Me no habla Espanol, Senor, so I had no idea what the bottle was all about, but the Wife's friend informed us that she routinely put this spicy concoction on any and all fresh fruit that she eats. Of course, I instantly assumed that this friend was insane, and the bottle of spice got shoved in the back of the kitchen cabinet.

Then, a couple of years ago, we got what I seem to remember was a nice, ripe looking cantaloupe, which, when opened up, proved to have the flavor of a damp sponge. So, the Wife and I decided to give the unusual fruit spice a chance. We doused the melon with the stuff, and it proved to be very tasty. I have been hooked ever since.

The spice in question is called Tajin. Since I don't habla Espanol, I am not entirely sure how to pronounce it. Is the "j" pronounced like a "j" or like an "h"? Is the "i" pronounced like an "i" or an "e"? Is the "T", "a" or "n" silent? I really have no idea, and I guess it doesn't really matter.
No matter how it's pronounced, it's delicious. And possibly hallucinogenic...

What does matter is that it is delicious. It's made out of just three ingredients: ground chile peppers, salt, and dehydrated lime juice. It definitely has a kick, but it's a wonderful kick.

There is only one downfall to Tajin, and I found out what it was last night. I sprinkled some on a banana for a late night snack, about an hour before I went to bed. That would prove to be a mistake. Despite chewing down 3 Tums before I hit the hay, I was soon awakened with a crippling bout of heartburn. Spicy stuff always does that to me. Four more Tums later, I was able to get back to sleep, but that wasn't the end of my crazy night.

I had weird dream after weird dream. The craziest one that I remember was really weird. In that dream, everything seemed to be going along like a normal day at our house: the kids were as chaotic as always, and Mommy and Daddy were just about at their wits' end. In the dream I had a larger than normal headache, and the reason was apparent when I looked in the mirror. Apparently I had recently been to the doctor, who had decided to remove a baseball-sized piece of my skull behind my ear, along with the skin, without telling me. That probably wouldn't have been too bad, but he forgot to replace the piece before he sent me on my way. So, when I looked in the mirror, I saw a section of my skull was missing, and my brain was visible, only it wasn't a normal brain - it was beating, like a heart. In my dream I just stared at my beating heart-brain for a long time, mesmerized, until one of the kids, who shall remain nameless, came up and tried to poke it. That's when I woke up in a somewhat frantic, and totally confused, state of mind.

The only reason I can think that I would have such a crazy dream is that I had too many ground chile peppers right before bed. I've heard that chile peppers can have some crazy effects on you. I'm beginning to think that's true. It's almost bedtime now...I think I'll eat some more and see what happens. If I have more exposed-brain dreams tonight, I will be sure and report it here on this blog. Look for it soon.


  1. 1. I love Tajin. I am pretty sure I have been eating it longer than you have been alive. Okay, no one has eaten anything that long, but you get the point. ;)
    2. My grandmother, who also used to eat this stuff, used to claim that if you eat too much food, spicy or otherwise, before bed you would see "SATANAAAAAS" (which is an overly dramatic way of saying satan in Spanish). I believe that is what happened to you.
    3. The j is pronounced like an h by most conventional Spanish speakers.

  2. Your grandmother was very wise. BTW, I blame my scary dreams from last night on your yummy meat-carrots from dinner. Just thought you should know.

  3. I blame you for all things, so that seems fair.