The tamarind is famous for being both a fruit and a legume, as well as for climbing its way to becoming one of the next superfruits. However, despite all its popularity, we all still have one question— honestly, what is a tamarind? And really, how in the world am I supposed to eat it?

Where does it come from? 

This pod-like fruit comes originally from tropical climates. Specifically, Latin America and South Asia. 

If you are an Indian cuisine lover, chances are you have probably tried tamarind. India is not only the #1 tamarind producer in the world, but it is also probably the top country to use tamarind. They've been known for adding it to everything from traditional sauce, to many different desserts.

What does it taste like?

It is known for having a tasty, but kind of tart taste. Its pulp has such a strong flavor, that even though it is often combined when cooking, it can also be enjoyed by itself.

How should I eat tamarind?

Apart from being a traditional and savory addition to Indian cuisine, it can also compliment several other types of cuisines. 

You can use the pulp to add an interesting and flavorful taste to Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Asian sauces. The most popular being tamarind chutney, which can be made by "soaking tamarind pods, squeezing the pulp, mixing it with jaggery, a cane sugar found in Asia and Africa made from the sap of palm trees, and spices and cooking it down". The tarty taste also pairs nicely with different soups and stews.

Its pulp can also serve as a different dessert idea. It can either be made into jam, syrup or more popularly, coated with sugar and enjoyed by itself. In other places in Latin America, it is even used as a base for common desserts like popsicles and ice cream. 

During summer time, it has also been known for being a perfect fruit for juice. It produces an extremely refreshing and exotic drink

What are the benefits?

Tamarind is not only a tasty fruit, but it is also a healthy and nutritional fruit. It is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin Ecalcium, iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and dietary fiber.

It is also extremely healthy for your digestive system, for it works as a natural laxative that stimulates digestion and helps dissolve the food faster. It also helps with weight loss, so if you are planning on starting a diet soon, be sure to add some tamarind to it. 

Additionally, all of these vitamins and antioxidants also make tamarind a great fruit for those who want to stimulate their cardiovascular, circulatory, and muscle health. Not only that but it is also really good for reducing joint pain and inflammation, arthritis, as well as rheumatic conditions.

The best part of this? One fruit only has 5 calories and 0 grams of fat, so feel free to add it to your diet in all its different variations. So, what is tamarind? It is your new favorite fruit

However, be aware that it lowers your blood pressure, so don't abuse of it. Most importantly, if you have a blood pressure condition, be sure to check with a professional about how much tamarind can your diet stand.