Ann spent much of her informative years growing up in the British Virgin Islands where tamarind trees were plentiful so she was the one who introduced Toveli to harvesting and enjoying the seeds. Toveli finally shared her knowledge with the rest of her family recently and now she shares her collections.
They are a sweet/sour treat that is easily addictive but much healthier than the SweeTarts of my childhood. They taste a lot like Golden Berries, are probably nutritional and (bonus!!) are free.
The outside is dry and brittle. You crack it like you would a peanut shell but it isn’t so tightly packed inside. You want a sticky flesh, not too green. If it isn’t sticky its probably rotten. Keep your eye open for mold, or we’ve been told that little nobules on the flesh are wasps eggs (I think we’ve been eating them–and survived so far).
Benito suggested soaking them in our drinking water and although flavourful it hasn’t been a big hit. But see below in related links there is a ‘juice’ recipe to try. It makes a tamarind syrup with which you make up drinks.
With the flu and cold going thru our camp Toveli has a bit of a sore throat and she has decided not to share her days’ stash because “it helps soothe my throat”. That might or might not be true but it helps protect her loot. For now, anyways.
When shopping at Mega we spotted a jam or paste of tamarind, and we’ve seen the whole seeds packaged like other nuts and seeds. For now we just enjoy them plain, sitting under the palapas with the warm tropic breeze.