Tamarind candy is a type of candy made from the fruit of the tamarind tree, which normally grows in tropical locations such as Africa, India, and parts of Asia. The tamarind tree is also common in Mexico and some parts of South America. Tamarind candy is known for having a sweet and sour taste, and it may be found most often in specialty food stores that carry items from a variety of different countries. In areas where the tamarind tree is common, the candy may be much easier to find. Tamarind candy is often described as being chewy, much like chewing gum, and it is normally sold in small containers with each piece rolled in sugar.
The taste of tamarind candy does not appeal to everyone. People who do not enjoy the candy often complain of the chewy texture and the sour taste the candy is known for. Some people may not like it because there is such a conglomeration of flavors mixed in with each piece. In addition to being both sweet and sour, many people also claim that the candy has a spicy, tangy taste as well. Some types of tamarind candy still contain the seeds and strands of veins from the tamarind fruit, and this might also make the candy unappealing to some.
People who enjoy tamarind candy often choose to make it at home rather than purchasing it. The candy can be made using tamarind paste, brown sugar, and chili powder, along with water, confectioner's sugar, and salt. The ingredients are typically boiled together, stirred carefully, and then poured into a baking dish and allowed to set up in the refrigerator. After several hours, the mixture can be broken up into candy-sized pieces and rolled in sugar. Tamarind fruit can be used in place of tamarind paste, but this method is normally much more involved and may take longer to prepare.
Even though many people associate the use of tamarind with candy making, it also has many other uses. People in India and other countries where the tamarind tree is common often use the fruit as an ingredient in certain meals. Tamarind is typically hard to find fresh in countries where the tree is not native, but it does occasionally turn up at farmers' markets and grocery stores all over the world. People who want to try tamarind candy but do not have immediate access to a store that carries the candy or the ingredients to make it may be able to order the candy ready-made from various Internet sites.