Saturday, August 4, 2007

Things On the Way: Tamarine Plant

There is a spice called “Tamarine” here in India that grows on government subsidized trees that grow along the road. Raj pulled the car over and got out, and encouraged us to follow along. Then he climbed a tree and plucked several little bundles that look an awful lot like flat peanuts (in their shells) from the branches. After dropping several of them down, he showed us how to “crack” them open and pull out the pulpy fruit inside. It has a large seed, so you can only really scrape the fruity part off with your teeth before spitting the seed out. According to Raj, the tamarine plant is used extensively in Indian cooking, and the government usually collects and auctions off the fruit of these trees on a regular basis. How does it taste? Well, it’s a little sweet, but mostly sour. We thought it was pretty tasty. Well… at least some of us thought it was tasty. Jodi shown here trying one, and then her subsequent reaction to it.

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