Evidently there was one can of coconut in front and then cans of tamarind in back. I was more concerned about making sure the cans weren't dented rather than looking at the pretty pictures. I didn't notice what I had done until I was putting them in the car. I went back in to get some more coconut water and kept the tamarind juice just to see what it was all about.
What the heck is tamarind anyway? Evidently it's an African tree with some really ugly looking pod thingies that produces a very sour fruit. Supposedly it sweetens as it gets really ripe. The can of "tamarind juice" contains water, tamarind pulp and sugar. It's very sweet and not as tangy as I'd expect from reading all the descriptions. It reminds me of the taste of prunes or dates (perhaps why the fruit is also know as the "Indian Date.") It's quite puply, kind of like an unstrained OJ. Overall it's good stuff. I can't say much for the color though.
But what can you do with it?
Here are my ideas:
- Drink it straight - chilled (not over ice... the pulp gets funky.)
- Make a cocktail - You'd need to strain out the pulp somehow for most drinks or perhaps use it in a frozen blender drink so the pulpy wouldn't matter as much.
- Sauce/Glaze - reduce a can of this on the stove an use it as a glaze for chicken or maybe some pork chops.
- Same as above but spice it up with something.
Note: I also discovered on this shopping trip that Your Dekalb Farmer's Market does sell pints of fresh-squeezed lime and lemon juices. I went ahead about bought my own limes anyway because a foolishly thought I'd have plenty of time to squeeze them. Next time I'll just buy the juice.