One of the most popular candies throughout South American countries, particularly in Mexico, is tamarind candy. There really is no comparable type of candy in North American or Europe, tamarind is absolutely unique in its taste, texture and even in appearance.
Often the first taste of tamarind candy for many people is at a Mexican restaurant, but they often recognize the tamarind flavor because it is also used in a variety of different areas of the world. This includes in various sweet and savory dishes from Africa, parts of the southern areas of Asia as well as in India.
All About Tamarind
Tamarind is produced from a tree of the same name. It grows in tropical areas and is found both as a cultivated tree as well as in the wild. The tamarind tree originated in Africa, specifically in the Sudan, and then was moved by early settlers to surrounding countries in Africa as well as to Asia and then, in the 16th century, it was brought by colonists to Mexico.
The tree will grow to be forty to sixty feet and has long, bushy branches with lots of bright green leaves that stay green year round. Once a year the tree produces a very small flower, that is red and yellow in color, and from the flower develops fruit that is often called a pod. Each pod contains a specific number of seeds, from one to twelve, which is determined by the variety of tamarind.
Making Tamarind Candy
Seeds are used to make tamarind candy with tamarind paste, which is pulverized seeds, mixed with brown sugar, chili, salt, sugar and water. The candy is boiled to thicken and then cooled and broken into pieces. Each piece is then rolled in sugar for a sweet finish.
The Taste Experience
Alegro Foods Tamarind candy is slightly chewy and sometimes a bit stringy, especially if the tamarind paste is mixed with some of the fruit which may have small seeds or larger amounts of plant fibers.
Many people consider tamarind candy an acquired taste, but it is definitely worth trying. If you enjoy the combination of sweet and salty then this candy will certainly appeal to you.