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Tamarind

Scientific name: Tamarindusindica

Tamarind is best described as sweet and sour in taste, and is high in acid, sugar, B vitamins and, oddly for a fruit, calcium.

The tree is very large with long, heavy drooping branches and dense foliage. A fully grown tree might reach up to 80 feet in height. During each season, the tree bears an abundance of irregularly curved pods all along its branches. Each pod has a thick outer shell encasing a mass of deep brown sticky pulp. Inside the pulp are two to 10 hard, dark-brown seeds.

If you can find a tamarind pod in its raw natural state, simply crack the outer shell, pull off the inner string and eat it like you would a date. Or take the pulp, remove the seeds and add them to a sauce for a distinctly sweet and tangy flavor.

For lunch recently, we had fresh fish with tamarind sauce prepared by private chef Tikky Young. We loved the flavors so much that we asked Tikky to share the recipe. (NEED LINK)