That’s what I thought as I poured my favorite ginger ale into a puddle of tamarind water in my glass.
Ginger Ale + tamarind (brown) = BROWN ALE BEER!!!
OK, it’s really pop – but just look at it! If all you saw was the glass with a thick foamy head and amber liquid, you’d swear it was beer. The ginger beer was equally as refreshing as a pint on a hot Texan day 🙂
So what is tamarind?
Tamarind are the pods that grow on the Tamarind tree, having origins in tropical regions of Africa. Spanish settlers brought it to Mexico where is thrived in growth and popularity. Many Mexican candies include tamarind pulp as a main ingredient. This fruit tree has spread to several different cultures over the last few centuries and is coveted by all who learn its secrets.
Where do I find tamarind?
Depending on where you live, you might find tamarind pods at your local Latino market. Seeing as I live in Texas, it’s not hard to find the pods. If your markets don’t have the whole pods, you might find paste instead.
What do you do with tamarind?
One suggestion is to create tamarind water from the dried sticky flesh from the pods. Shell the fruit and place it into a pot, add just enough water to cover, bring to a boil for 5 minutes and strain. Reserve the “water” for adding flavour to pop, sauces, or marinades. Pick out the hard seeds from the boiled pulp. I suggest pushing the pulp through a strainer to remove the root-like veins and seed coverings. Use the pulp in marinades and glazes, especially for pork or chicken.
I haven’t figured out the candy part yet, but you’ll be the first to know when I do!