Mexican Spicy Summer Fruit Bar
Mexican fruit salad with chile pepper powder.
As we get into the summer the craving and need of tasty and refreshing meals increases, this time of the year one of my favorite things to offer to my friends when they visit is “Ensalada de Frutas con Chile”
– A spicy, salty, lemony fruit salad, it makes a great snack and it works great for a fun add on to a summer bar.
In Mexico, we put chile on everything!
Chile peppers arrived in Mexico from Peru many centuries ago. They are considered a staple item in traditional Mexican cuisine, a part of the country’s cultural and culinary identity. The majority of traditional Mexican recipes contain some type of chile or chile powder. Chile peppers are not always used to add heat; they are valued for their unique flavor that can enhance both sweet and savory foods. Early European reports of the Americas mention chile peppers being added to everything from soups and vegetables to meat and beverages. The strong, spicy flavors were almost intolerable to the European palate, but it was noted that over time the taste became more and more pleasant. Today, many Americans have become accustomed to the spicy flavor of chile peppers in large part due to the influence of Mexican cuisine.
Fruit Chile blend (Tajin)
Fruit diced into 1-inch chunks - any combination of watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, pineapple, orange, coconut, jicama and even cucumber works well
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
Salt, (I recommend Sea Salt)
Serve fruit salad alongside the chile powder, salt, limes. Guests can squeeze lime juice and sprinkle the chile powder and salt onto their individual salad serving to taste. Younger and spice-sensitive guests may prefer the salad without the spicy powder, and people like varying degrees of spiciness, which is why the chile powder is traditionally served on the side.
If you are serving the fruit bar to enhance a bar, have the tequila ready and pour over the fruit along the lime juice, salt and chile pepper. Be sure to “cheer up” at the end by drinking the juice at the bottom of the fruit salad bowl because it is delicious.
Enjoy the Summer and Mexican flavors!
Chef Martin Lopez