Mouth-puckering flavors and fermented foods are steadily climbing the ranks in foodie culture. We’re talking calamansi, hibiscus, yuzu and everything in between. As international cuisine, culinary fusion and acidity take the spotlight in 2024, an underrated ingredient is about to have its moment: tamarind. New York Times named tamarind as an up-and-comer to watch out for, and it was also named McCormick’s Flavor of the Year.
For the uninitiated, tamarind is a tropical fruit that grows on trees in bean-like pods. Inside hides a nutrient-rich, fibrous, pasty pulp that’s beloved for its tangy, sweet-and-sour taste. It’s native to Africa, India and the Middle East, but is also a common ingredient in Latin, Asian and Caribbean cuisines (hola, agua de tamarindo). Just so you can see what all the fuss is about, we’ve rounded up 15 tamarind recipes to get you better acquainted with the fruit.