A Tamarind Tale

Different foods have always fascinated me. I will pretty much try any edible matter.

Bright and early, Monday morning, my coworker and I were going through our usual routine of making the office coffee as she pulled out a large, peanut-resembling, brown piece and cracked the top.

Tamarind within its shell

The fruit, as she called it, was brown-red, mushy and yucky-looking. Now, curiosity trumped squeamishness, so I finished peeling the shell and pulled a few pieces off to taste. It was surprisingly sweet, the closest flavor parallel would be a very thick apple butter.

Tamarind out of the shell

My coworker told me that the fruit is called tamarind and a Filipino friend gave it to her and explained that in the Philippines it is used in and as candy. Apparently, tamarind is also used in juices, syrups and even Worcestershire sauce. Moreover, the fruit contains antibacterial elements and people in many countries use it to treat stomach disorders, to decrease fever and help with other ailments.

The coolest thing about the interesting fruit, my coworker and I came to a conclusion, are the seeds. Those aren’t ordinary, black or brown, but this beautiful red-orange color, slightly reminiscent of tiny gemstones.

Tamarind seeds

Even in the U.S. you can find tamarind in Asian stores and even occasionally Walmart.

 

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