“Where’s the Tapatio?” I get asked this at home all the time! Like many I know here in East LA, and the greater LA, I put Tapatio brand hot sauce on everything. Especially on quesadillas, fruits, salads, soups, sandwiches, Doritos and all. This might be a total Chicano thing, because I almost never find Tapatio when I’m in Mexico. I only found Tapatio in some states I visited in the U.S. Here in LA however it’s at every restaurant where I eat, and at every home I visit. Family and people I know who are from Mexico, oddly always prefer other bottled salsas that are thicker and grainier like Valentina, Cholula or Huitchol. These are also good but not as flavorful and cool as Tapatio. Another major reason I think I love Tapatio is because there is a portrait of a fucking hot ass looking Bigoton in a Charro suit and he is right smack in the middle of the label. He is beautiful and has always fascinated me (I think this is great marketing BTW!) Growing up, I always wondered if that guy was real and to be honest many times I wished he was because I had a little crush on him. I’m only a little embarrassed to admit it and I’m positive that I am not the only one who crushed on the Tapatio man! When I confessed to a couple of my amigas about my crush, they laughed at me. Am I crazy? I also felt like this about the Bounty lumberjack but not as hard as I feel it for my Tapatio man. As I’m growing older, my pansa tells me that I overdo it with hot sauce so I try to cut back, but Tapatio, “I can’t quit you!" There are constant reminders of him everywhere. He’s on little ketchup packages in my every ceviche order. He’s stepped on, splattered on the sidewalk, on walls, and on my clothes. My hot man is everywhere and I have surrendered to loving his sauce. Tapatio man is so very easy for me to love. I am pretty sure it’s because we have more in common then with the other hot sauces! But seriously, is he real?! If your family is from Jalisco, then this dude looks like many of our fathers or uncles. They might have looked like him when they were young too. My dad is from Jalisco and he kind of looks like he could have been related to Tapatio Man, but more like a wannabe Chente! Seriously, when my son was old enough to recognize my dad, he would point at the Tapatio bottle and yell out “Tata”! If Tapatio man is real, he is Chicano for sure! He’s a hard worker and his community appreciates that! He probably lives here in Los Angeles or somewhere near me. We might even be the same age?!
* Tapatio started as a small business- please continue to support small and local businesses.
Photography: Crystal Lopez @eyesonupphotography
Creative Direction: Diana Diaz
Please subscribe below to receive future updates!