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 Post subject: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:04 am 
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What, this isn't the cooking network?

So I had almost run out of tamarind concentrate. Which comes in a short plastic tub (Tamicon is the brand) & is so concentrated you want to use less than a teaspoon per 2-people portion of whatever you're cooking or all you will taste is tamarind. Which is citrus with an intense bite to it. If you've never had any, the closest you would come is dried apricots. Which I was almost coming to, as I was almost out of tamarind.

So I go to Whole Foods. They don't have the concentrate! What they do have is a jar of not-boiled-down pulp, which looks awful (actually it looks kinda-like red grapefruit innards, which wouldn't be awful only 'cause you know what it is), & which I know is going to spoil in the fridge before I can use it all.

I next go to the local Asian-food market, which is Korean but carries stuff for other Asian cooking (I associate tamarind mainly with Thai). They don't have the concentrate either, but have a compressed package of dried stuff that will need refrigeration but looks like it will keep longer.

This a store where you need a guide, unless you read several Asian languages, but I finally got one; even after the Whole Foods experience I wouldn't have thought of looking in the refrigerated section.

Don't get me wrong; the concentrate is "refrigerate after opening", but it takes up very little space & lasts forever.

I have at this point found the concentrate only on Amazon, with reviews that say it arrived runny, not as paste, & "don't buy this". I am not buying spoiled food off of Amazon.

I then go to the local Indian specialty market & there's my Tamicon! For very cheap! Turns out tamarind is used in some Indian dishes too. They also have the dried packet, for almost 1/2 the $7.00 it cost in the Asian-food store.

But meanwhile I have looked up how to process this dried expensive packet I already own. Internet says you have to soak a chunk in warm water & strain the fibers out.
But that you will appreciate the fruity taste the concentrate really doesn't have.

My report is that you will find embedded in your chunk giant pits which of course added greatly to the weight of this pound package. But that you also will be getting some kind of bark which is much harder to detect (I will need to buy a real strainer) & could break my very delicate teeth if I miss any again.

The internet is right about the great fruit flavor. But its not worth the project this becomes when I just wanted to be able to toss a spoon of concentrate into my pseudo-Thai mushroom stir-fry. So I'm so glad I finally found my concentrate again.

(If you're an ingredient-reader you already know that tamarind, along with anchovies, are what make Worcestershire Sauce taste so special. But sometimes you just want the undiluted Real Thing).


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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:09 am 
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ghostjmf wrote:
What, this isn't the cooking network?

So I had almost run out of tamarind concentrate. Which comes in a short plastic tub (Tamicon is the brand) & is so concentrated you want to use less than a teaspoon per 2-people portion of whatever you're cooking or all you will taste is tamarind. Which is citrus with an intense bite to it. If you've never had any, the closest you would come is dried apricots. Which I was almost coming to, as I was almost out of tamarind.

So I go to Whole Foods. They don't have the concentrate! What they do have is a jar of not-boiled-down pulp, which looks awful (actually it looks kinda-like red grapefruit innards, which wouldn't be awful only 'cause you know what it is), & which I know is going to spoil in the fridge before I can use it all.

I next go to the local Asian-food market, which is Korean but carries stuff for other Asian cooking (I associate tamarind mainly with Thai). They don't have the concentrate either, but have a compressed package of dried stuff that will need refrigeration but looks like it will keep longer.

This a store where you need a guide, unless you read several Asian languages, but I finally got one; even after the Whole Foods experience I wouldn't have thought of looking in the refrigerated section.

Don't get me wrong; the concentrate is "refrigerate after opening", but it takes up very little space & lasts forever.

I have at this point found the concentrate only on Amazon, with reviews that say it arrived runny, not as paste, & "don't buy this". I am not buying spoiled food off of Amazon.

I then go to the local Indian specialty market & there's my Tamicon! For very cheap! Turns out tamarind is used in some Indian dishes too. They also have the dried packet, for almost 1/2 the $7.00 it cost in the Asian-food store.

But meanwhile I have looked up how to process this dried expensive packet I already own. Internet says you have to soak a chunk in warm water & strain the fibers out.
But that you will appreciate the fruity taste the concentrate really doesn't have.

My report is that you will find embedded in your chunk giant pits which of course added greatly to the weight of this pound package. But that you also will be getting some kind of bark which is much harder to detect (I will need to buy a real strainer) & could break my very delicate teeth if I miss any again.

The internet is right about the great fruit flavor. But its not worth the project this becomes when I just wanted to be able to toss a spoon of concentrate into my pseudo-Thai mushroom stir-fry. So I'm so glad I finally found my concentrate again.

(If you're an ingredient-reader you already know that tamarind, along with anchovies, are what make Worcestershire Sauce taste so special. But sometimes you just want the undiluted Real Thing).


Umami-ish? I've never tried tamarind paste, but now I might.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:08 am 
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tlynn78:

Tamarind is *not* umami. Anchovies are, if you like them (which I do).

But tamarind is both very citrusy & very sour-puckery, which is why a little of the concentrate goes a long way. The pressed fruit is much milder but the kind I bought is full of pits & teeth-breaking bark. So needs to be strained of that stuff.

Wiki-whatsit says tamarind is Arabic for "dates of India", but while the pressed fruit *looks* like dates, the closest taste approximate is if you soaked some really strong dried apricots in lemon or lime juice.

If you've cooked Thai recipes you will have had to buy this. Along with "fish sauce", which is made of anchovies, & believe me, you do not want to taste it out of the bottle or put very much in anything. When they say "use to taste" they mean it with both these ingredients, but they *really* mean it with fish sauce.


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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:19 am 
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ghostjmf wrote:
tlynn78:

Tamarind is *not* umami. Anchovies are, if you like them (which I do).

But tamarind is both very citrusy & very sour-puckery, which is why a little of the concentrate goes a long way. The pressed fruit is much milder but the kind I bought is full of pits & teeth-breaking bark. So needs to be strained of that stuff.

Wiki-whatsit says tamarind is Arabic for "dates of India", but while the pressed fruit *looks* like dates, the closest taste approximate is if you soaked some really strong dried apricots in lemon or lime juice.

If you've cooked Thai recipes you will have had to buy this. Along with "fish sauce", which is made of anchovies, & believe me, you do not want to taste it out of the bottle or put very much in anything. When they say "use to taste" they mean it with both these ingredients, but they *really* mean it with fish sauce.

I'll have to give it a whirl.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:05 am 
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tlynn78 wrote:
ghostjmf wrote:
tlynn78:

Tamarind is *not* umami. Anchovies are, if you like them (which I do).

But tamarind is both very citrusy & very sour-puckery, which is why a little of the concentrate goes a long way. The pressed fruit is much milder but the kind I bought is full of pits & teeth-breaking bark. So needs to be strained of that stuff.

Wiki-whatsit says tamarind is Arabic for "dates of India", but while the pressed fruit *looks* like dates, the closest taste approximate is if you soaked some really strong dried apricots in lemon or lime juice.

If you've cooked Thai recipes you will have had to buy this. Along with "fish sauce", which is made of anchovies, & believe me, you do not want to taste it out of the bottle or put very much in anything. When they say "use to taste" they mean it with both these ingredients, but they *really* mean it with fish sauce.

I'll have to give it a whirl.

It will give you a whirl.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:30 am 
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Bob Juch wrote:
tlynn78 wrote:
ghostjmf wrote:
tlynn78:

Tamarind is *not* umami. Anchovies are, if you like them (which I do).

But tamarind is both very citrusy & very sour-puckery, which is why a little of the concentrate goes a long way. The pressed fruit is much milder but the kind I bought is full of pits & teeth-breaking bark. So needs to be strained of that stuff.

Wiki-whatsit says tamarind is Arabic for "dates of India", but while the pressed fruit *looks* like dates, the closest taste approximate is if you soaked some really strong dried apricots in lemon or lime juice.

If you've cooked Thai recipes you will have had to buy this. Along with "fish sauce", which is made of anchovies, & believe me, you do not want to taste it out of the bottle or put very much in anything. When they say "use to taste" they mean it with both these ingredients, but they *really* mean it with fish sauce.

I'll have to give it a whirl.

It will give you a whirl.


Sounds like.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:24 pm 
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tamarind is in Worcestershire Sauce

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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:23 pm 
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themanintheseersuckersuit wrote:
tamarind is in Worcestershire Sauce
Didn't make it to the bottom of the original post, huh?

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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:32 pm 
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tlynn78 wrote:
ghostjmf wrote:
tlynn78:

Tamarind is *not* umami. Anchovies are, if you like them (which I do).

But tamarind is both very citrusy & very sour-puckery, which is why a little of the concentrate goes a long way. The pressed fruit is much milder but the kind I bought is full of pits & teeth-breaking bark. So needs to be strained of that stuff.

Wiki-whatsit says tamarind is Arabic for "dates of India", but while the pressed fruit *looks* like dates, the closest taste approximate is if you soaked some really strong dried apricots in lemon or lime juice.

If you've cooked Thai recipes you will have had to buy this. Along with "fish sauce", which is made of anchovies, & believe me, you do not want to taste it out of the bottle or put very much in anything. When they say "use to taste" they mean it with both these ingredients, but they *really* mean it with fish sauce.
I'll have to give it a whirl.
We have a bunch of small-chain Mexican restaurant/drive-thrus that offer several types of drinks (aguas frescas, I think) in addition to the soda fountain. They are in those transparent, refrigerated boxes with each one labeled and of a different color. The place closest to me offers horchata (rice/nuts), tamarindo, jamaica (hibiscus) and piña (pineapple). If you have Mexican (or other Latin American) restaurants near you, they may offer these, too. It's a cheap (and totally refreshing) way to get a taste of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:06 am 
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Estonut wrote:
themanintheseersuckersuit wrote:
tamarind is in Worcestershire Sauce
Didn't make it to the bottom of the original post, huh?


Ha!

lb13

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 Post subject: Re: Tamarind concentrate
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:14 am 
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littlebeast13 wrote:
Estonut wrote:
themanintheseersuckersuit wrote:
tamarind is in Worcestershire Sauce
Didn't make it to the bottom of the original post, huh?


Ha!

lb13



Beast, your avatar cracks me up every time I see it.

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