Friday, March 27, 2015

Adventures with Tamarinds

In which the intrepid shopper realizes that the Asian store is probably a likely place to find them, tamarind not being so exotic and strange to other nations, and indeed went there and did so.

These are fresh tamarinds, not processed or anything, and taste different from the little chunk our instructor gave me yesterday. I wonder if hers was dried in some way. Hers was more pungent, very delicious, but the fresh ones are gentler, still good, though.  Anyway, they're known as the date of India, and if you pinch off a bit of the flesh and taste, you'll see why.  But not as sweet as dates, and more interesting.

But that's getting ahead.  Here's the box as found in the store. The labels says to eat as snack, okay, I can manage that.  




Once open, I was a bit puzzled about what to do next. 




So I figured, oh just plunge in, famous last words, and broke one open. And this is how it looked.
 


The outer casing is brittle and has a fine network of lines inside. The flesh inside, in which I suppose are seeds, haven't got in there yet, is soft and easy to pinch off a bit to sample.  It all looks a bit x-rated, NSFW, but keep calm and carry on sampling.

My friend and handyman happened to stop in at that point to do some measuring, and he's also a great cook, so I made him taste, too.  Like me he'd heard of, but never eaten, tamarind.  Not sure he wants to proceed, but he did try it and said, hm, interesting.  His taste in food not quite as exotic as mine, but he's still game to taste anyway.

So I have to continue with this and see what happens.  They instruct you firmly to refrigerate them, so I will.  And I need to find out more activities than just eating as a snack, not that there's anything wrong with that..what do you do about seeds, etc.  

A couple of yesterday's group asked about tamarind paste, and the lecturer said no, not never, no, nasty, don't.  So I figured better to find the actual fruit.  If any innocent passers by among our blogistas knows any great recipes for tamarind, please say. 

I'm currently thinking of spreading with homemade soft cheese on bread.  But after that point, what next.

5 comments:

dogonart said...

Not being familiar with this product. I googled it and see all sorts of recipes. Wonder if the prep work is worth it but no doubt you'll report progress.

Quinn said...

I know I have eaten tamarind, but I cannot remember when, how, or in what form...do you think it has some sort of chemical property that erases all detailed memory of itself from one's mind?
Carry on with your bold tamarindish experimentation, my friend. For science!

Anonymous said...

Tamarind Margaritas are a lovely drink. They are made with Tamarind pulp, which is sold In Mexican and Latin America grocery stores/bodegas. Instead of the typical lemon/lime and tequila Margarita, one uses tamarind pulp as the fruit flavor, and you rim the glass with the spice chili limon instead of salt. Very yummy. I learned how to make these while living in Guadalajara Mexico. Carol G

Asha Francis said...
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Boud said...

That was a wonderful suggestion from Ash about a way to eat tamarind which I accidentally removed -- tablet buttons too small. Sorry. I hope I can remember it!