National Chamoy Day Date in the current year: June 13, 2024

National Chamoy Day If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, you absolutely should celebrate National Chamoy Day on June 13. This fun holiday was created to celebrate a versatile condiment made from pickled fruit and dried chili peppers.

Chamoy is a sauce made from dried fruit (apricots, mangoes, prunes, etc.) that are soaked in brine, sometimes with the addition of vinegar, which draws the residual moisture and flavor out of the fruit. The fruit are then separated from the brine and consumed as a snack called salatidos, while the brine is seasoned with chili powder and citrus juice and becomes chamoy. The liquid is sometimes reduced or thickened with pureed fruit to change its consistency.

The origins of chamoy are murky, but the condiment is believed to have been introduced to Mexico from Asia. One of the theories claims that it was brought by Filipino immigrants traveling on the Manila galleons (trading ships linking New Spain with the Spanish East Indies) sometime between the 16th and the early 19th centuries. Another theory suggests it was invented by Chinese immigrant workers in Hawaii in the 19th century; however, it is unclear how the condiment made its way from Hawaii to Mexico.

According to the third theory, chamoy was inspired by umeboshi, pickled Japanese plums (ume) that are popular in Japan. In this case, the term “chamoy” supposedly derives from Chinese suan mei (sour plum) and was coined by Japanese immigrant Teikichi Iwadare in the 1950s. But why would someone from Japan name his product in Chinese? In addition, the term “umeboshi” refers to the fruit, whereas chamoy is a sauce made from the brine.

Be that as it may, chamoy is an iconic part of Mexican cuisine. Depending on the ingredients in recipe, it may vary in thickness and in taste. Most variations are savory, spicy (but not too hot), and salty, sometimes with sour and/or sweet notes. Liquid chamoy is usually sold in bottles like hot sauces, whereas thicker, paste-like chamoy is sold in jars like fruit preserves.

Thanks to its complex flavor, chamoy is a versatile condiment that can accompany a wide variety of foods, ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables to potato chips, nachos, and meat. Liquid chamoy is usually squeezed on top of foods like ketchup or hot sauce, while chamoy paste is served as a dipping sauce. Chamoy can also be used to coat foods (apples coated with chamoy paste are a popular Mexican snack) and as a candy flavoring.

Chamoy can also be added to raspado, a shaved ice drink. Chamoy raspado, called chamoyada, consists of fruit-flavored shaved ice or sorbet, chamoy, fruit chunks, and chili powder. The most popular variation of chamoyada is mango-flavored; it is commonly referred to as chamango or mangonada.

National Chamoy Day was created in 2021 by PICA-PICA TX, a Texas-based producer and seller of chamoy and chamoy-flavored candy. You can celebrate this amazing holiday by trying chamoy and chamoy products, making some chamoy at home, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #NationalChamoyDay.

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National Chamoy Day, food days, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, Mexican cuisine