Last weekend was spent at the Javits Convention Center in New York, eating my way down the aisles of the
Sweet & Sour Tamarind and Sweet Tamarind
Sweet & Sour dried Tamarind is nature’s answer to Sour Patch Kids. Shelled, pitted, baked twice, then sprinkled with brown sugar and Thai chili, it tingles your tongue, stunning it with a tart zing, then it rounds off with a spicy kick at the end, leaving your mouth slightly numb and wanting more. I must confess I didn’t get the chance to try the Sweet Tamarind, but I’m curious to know how to prepare it, any ideas?
Take a break from your breakfast routine; Set aside your strawberry jam and try some of Zena’s exotic fruit jams from West Africa instead. Made from papaya, tamarind, guava, and other native African fruits, one of the particularly interesting flavors they offered was cashew apple, which is the fruit that is attached to the cashew nut. The woman at the booth was telling me about how cashew apple fruits are usually wasted, often times harvested just for the nut. You can now rest assured, the cashew apples are now being put to good use, and it spreads well on toast too.
Black garlic is a Korean delicacy that is only now starting to get introduced to American plates and palettes. I admit, at first I was a bit repulsed by its unnatural appearance. But after talking to the garlic guy for a bit, he assured me that black garlic is just month-long fermented garlic and nothing else. So how does it taste? A little sweet and a little savory–subtle hints of garlic flavors mixed in with sweet notes, similar to molasses. The consistency is like chewing a soft licorice, gummy but soft. I haven’t tried preparing it at home yet.. but be prepared for a follow-up black garlic recipe!