Tamarind balls are made by blending the pulp of the tamarind, then rolling this into small round balls, followed by sugar being sprinkled all over.
Tamarinds can be eaten fresh but they are also used in Barbados to make drink. The tamarind tree is a medium growth bushy tree and was introduced to Barbados in either 1649 or 1650. The tree grows well in full sun and is a great shade. Just be careful of any bird droppings because birds too, love this tree.
The tamarind is best described as sweet and sour in taste and high in acid but contains Vitamin B and calcium. In some persons one look or even the thought of a tamarind springs water from your mouth. Try it!
The seeds of the tamarind may also be steeped in cane syrup for several months to preserve them. Headmasters used a tamarind rod to administer corporal punishment to bad behaved children in past generations. The flexibility of the branches of the tree is what made it great for punishment.
People living in Barbados know that eating tamarind despite its sometimes acidic taste means eating healthy. The health benefits that tamarind provides are:
• Lowers cholesterol
• Promotes a healthy heart
• Can be gargled to ease soar throat
• Heals inflammation if applied to the skin
• Helps the body digest food
• Contains Vitamin C and the B-vitamins
Tamarinds may be left on the tree for as long as six (6) months once they have matured. However, it must be taken into account that the ripe tamarind is quite susceptible to attack from beetles, birds and fungi, so they should be picked and stored under refrigeration.
Tamarind balls are sold in single packets or in packs of six (6). No matter how they are sold you are guaranteed a great treat.
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