I don’t know if we mentioned it before but Joanna and I are both Mexican-born so a lot of the party ideas and edible goodies with work with are culturally inspired by out native country. This blog post is an example of just that. Just like the very popular chocolate-covered apple that has become very popular in the past years, in Mexico, we have a “tamarindo” covered apple. Tamarindo or tamarind is a staple in both cooking and sweets in our households; here is a little history…Continue reading for a “How-to” and some pics!!
For generations, tamarind has delighted old and young alike but, oddly, this delicious fruit does not originate in our country of Mexico. In fact, its history, like Mexico’s, has made a long pilgrimage from its country of origin, India, to Mexican lands, in an era where traveling such distances represented an adventure that lasted months, years or a whole life-time.
Tamarind’s story starts in India where it’s been used since ancient times to make different foods including a type of beer. With the passing of time, the secrets of the Orient where slowly revealed and known in Europe thanks to excursions of adventurers, some well-known and others lost in the ruins of time.
Tamarind is not the exception. Thanks to the Arab people, who knew the fruit and seed, tamarind was introduced in Europe during the Middle Ages. Due to its sweet/sour pulp’s properties, it became known as something exotic, a condition that still remains until today for many in the Old World.
Its crop, because it’s a tropical tree, is not possible to grow in Europe, so its growth extended to Africa. Some sources say tamarind originated in the tropical parts of this continent.
Tamarind arrived to the Americas via the Spaniards, probably at the beginning of the Colonization. Its crop rapidly extended into Mexico’s tropical zones, in the states of Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas and even Yucatan, where its known as pah-ch’uuk.
Since then it has been an important part of the traditional cuisine of towns zoned in the warm parts of Mexico. Evidence of this is the culture of tamarind in all over Mexico in the assortment of candies derived from this fruit.
How-To Make a Tamarindo Covered Apple
Step 1: Wash and rinse apple (green apples are recommended) thoroughly. Apple must be completely dried so tamarindo paste will adhere.
Step 2: Insert skewer into apple.
Step 3: Adhere tamarindo paste onto apple, slowly molding it around to cover the entire apple.
Step 4: Sprinkle powdered chile onto apple.
Step 5: Lastly wrap apple with a cellophane bag!
Tamarindo apple paste vendor: www.pastaparamanzana.com.mx
(We had ours imported from Monterrey, Mexico where the vendor’s headquarters are located.)