Tamarind


Tamarinds are new to me. I have tasted tamarind before. It is in HP sauce and I used to buy tamarind candies at the Indian grocery store back home. But I had never seen a tamarind until I got to the West Indies. The first time that I saw in, I was in a grocery superstore, and there were boxes of them. They looked intriguing, but I resisted to buy a box of them in case they tasted like rotten womat or roadkill porcupine.

When we were at the Haitian fruit stand, the woman running the joint had a tub of them. I put a few into a paper back and she charged me a dollar. She gave me one free. I broke the crumbly dry skin, extracted the sticky interior and put it my mouth. I crunch down with my molars and it was like hitting a pebble. The pulp is on the outside of the seeds, which are about the size of three kernels of corn. The Haitian fruit vendor told me to kiss the tamarind -- don't bite it. You have to tease the pulp from around the seeds with your tongue.

The Indian food recipe book that I bought on board the book ship, has a few paragraph on how to extract the pulp from tamarind. I tried it, but all that I got was some water with little floatie bits in it that didn't taste like much.

Tamarind tastes tart like lemon however it has spicey overtones as well. I take the tamarinds to work, and suck on them as I am coding software. I intend to plant some of the seeds as well. However, when I googled the planting procedure, I learned that the seeds were real tough, and to get them to germinate, you had to help them along by scoring the skin of the seed with a knife in a process called scarification.

Man these suckers are a lot of work, no matter what way that you cut it. I think that is just a lot easier to buy a bottle of HP sauce and be done with it.

No comments: