It’s always time for tamarind! With apologies to the old Saturday Night Live skit about Shimmer (“It’s a floor wax AND a dessert topping"), tamarind does seem to have a ton of uses. Some of the more exotic tamarind uses are as a meat tenderizer, a metal polisher, dried in a paste to act as a cast for broken bones, as an extract for eye drops, and as an ingredient in Worcestershire sauce. Now that’s versatility! And we haven’t even gotten to the main uses in food and beverages.
Tamarind is a hardwood tree that grows in tropical climates. It produces curved pods with seeds covered by fibrous pulp.
The pods mean it is technically a legume, but tamarind is typically considered a fruit. And yet tamarind is low-glycemic and has a number of savory uses too. Tamarind is sold in the original pod form, pastes, or powders, and the tree’s leaves, seeds, and pulp each have their own end uses.
Indian cooking makes great use of tamarind in sauces, chutneys, and even curries. Mexican culinary uses for tamarind are often in beverages and desserts, leveraging the fruit’s unique combination of sweet and sour in a variety of sodas and hard candy. And Crux Recover uses tamarind for its traditional benefits associated with antioxidants and inflammation.
Who knows? Maybe tamarind could also be a floor wax.
* Note that this article is not medical advice. Always talk to a medical professional about health matters.