Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tamarind Season: Sth Florida Style

If you like sweet and sour fruits, then tamarinds are for you. Kenari Groves in Loxahatchee, Florida, has seven trees ready for picking.

Florida grown Tamarind, Kenari Groves, Loxahatchee,
Copyright 2012 by Helen A Lockey

When ripe, tamarind pods have a brittle outer shell that cracks with just a bit of pressure. Inside the brown, paste like flesh surrounds hard black seeds. To eat, you can either nibble away at the flesh or pop a whole piece (including seed) into your mouth and suck off the flesh, being careful not to swallow the seed.

Some words of caution: be careful not to swallow or attempt to eat the seeds, they are very hard and you could choke on them. Also watch out for immature tamarind pods, they are very sour and can burn your tongue. Some cultures use these under-ripe tamarinds in pickling recipes.

Tamarind is a popular sweet and sour fruit of people from hot climate countries, especially countries near the equator.

The flesh can be preserved for up to a year by mixing it with sugar and making it into a paste. Jamaicans use this technique for making tamarind desserts.

To learn more about Kenari Groves tamarinds, call Rose Kenari at 561-313-7202.

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