|Kopi Luwak, or "civet coffee".|
|A sweet tamarind pod. A particular cultivar from Thailand that is less tart and is eaten as fresh fruit.|
|Peeled tamarind pod.|
A sweet tangy flavor, it's an essential component of multiple Asian cuisines, from chutney to pad thai. Tamarind figures prominently in worcestershire sauce, but in places from Mexico to Trinidad, tamarind pulp is diluted into a kind of chilled sweetened drink, or mixed with sugar and spices into a kind of candy.
Unlike plants like tomato and potato, that originated in the Americas to transform old world cuisine, the tamarind originates from Africa, and in fact, did the opposite: it infiltrated itself into the cuisines of the Americas. I think it is only the appearance that keeps it in the under the radar of the fragile North American sensibilities.