Anatomy of Tamarind


My friend brought me some fruit - figs that she stole from yards in Kitsilano (an annual tradition, without which summer is not quite real for her... FYI: If she does not steal them, the fruit goes to waste. Fact).
She also brought me 6 tamarind pods, which looked like dry beans or very plump carobs; but inside their brittle pods is a soft, pliable, date-like textured pulp. Inside it there are pits.

A couple of days later, I promptly turned into a refreshing drink. The flavour is not nearly as intense as I remember it from the tamarind merchants in the Jerusalem's souk; though it's not unlikely that my memory is confusing them with that of "souss" aka licorice root drink.

I'm sure there are many better recipes out there for tamarind refreshments; what I did was simply peel off the shells, and soak the pulp in boiling water (just enough to cover). That makes removing the seeds or pits quite an easy task. Let the pulp sit for a while, until very soft (I just forgot about it for a couple of hours); then strain and push it through a fine sieve, and dilute with more water. I used only 6 pods for a whole liter of water. Add a sweetener to taste: either raw sugar, or agave syrup. It's cooling and refreshing, and could also make a great base for cocktails. If you have any other ideas for using tamarind I'm listening!

Tamarind by Ayala Moriel
Tamarind, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.

Sweet Lime and Cedar

Thai lime leaves, originally uploaded by JUN / LDK.

Thai lime leaves, originally uploaded by JUN / LDK.

A modern twist in the cologne genre, Sweet Lime and Cedar uses kaffir lime leaf (aka Thai lime), tamarind and cedarwood as the theme. It may have the coolness of a tamarind drink in the alleyways of the souk, but it is more leafy than citrusy and I can’t say that I’m smelling the unmistakable kaffir lime note on its own. Rather, it seems like a Westernized version for those who don’t really care for that particular lime or perhaps find it too weird. The overall impression is of fresh leaves rubbed between the palms, and not particularly citrusy though possessing that type of invigorating freshness. A few moments later, I can sense a foreign note attempting to rise above the others – a gardenia and coconut accord, but a very artificial kind as the one you smell in every-other-celebrity-fragrance and the next one coming up. Thankfully, this phase is very short living and is quickly replaced by a dry pomelo note and a tad of coriander that lead to the longer lasting cedarwood that lingers on and on.

Colognes usually lose my interest nearly as fast as the initial blast of fresh juicy citrus top notes evaporates from the skin. But those that have cedarwood base seem to not only work well on my skin but also keep my brain stimulated longer without feeling irritated (the synthetic longer living citrus notes do that to me and turn on my skin). I had a similar infatuation with Miller Harris’ Citron Citron and could see myself quenching thirst for an entire summer with one of these at hand. At the same time, I am not particularly convinced that this perfume delivers its Thai cuisine premise and think that if it was carried out more boldly it would have made a truly fascinating perfume.

The notes, according to OsMoz are:

Top notes:
Blood Orange, Pomelo, Passion Fruit, Pink Pepper, Kaffir Lime, Spearmint

Heart notes:
Clary Sage,Gardenia, Lavender, Jasmine, Coconut, Coriander, Ylang Ylang, Cardamom

Base notes:
Cedarwood, Tamarind, Tonka Bean, Amber, Pandanus Leaf

Back to the top