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Old 10-02-2013, 12:04 PM   #1
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Can anyone identify these ingredients? Large weird seed pods - photo included

Hello! I'm new here, but it looks like a cool place :)

I live in rural England, in deepest, darkest Cornwall and so when I have an opportunity to visit the big smoke I jump at the chance to grab as few interesting ingredients as I can.

I recently visited Brixton Market in London, which serves a mixture of Carribean and African cultures. In the excitement I forgot to note down what these things are and can't remember much about them. The big bean pods are very solid and have to be broken open with a hammer. The guy said they were some kind of fruit. The first one I opened had wildlife in it and had crumbled to a powder, so I left it well alone and I'm a little nervous about my second attempt. They smell kind of cheesy but not in an entirely unpleasant way.

I can't remember anything about the big x shaped pod. I think it may be a spice but I'm not sure - can anyone identify either of them? (pen in the photo to give you scale - they're both quite large!)

Thanks,

Dan

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Old 10-02-2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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Hi Dan. Welcome to DC. Sadly, your photo doesn't show up in the post. Could you try again?
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
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It showed up for me. Those are tamarind pods.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamarind
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:22 PM   #4
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The things on the right that look like corn dogs are, like GG says, tamarind pods.

But the thingie inside of tamarind pods usually has yellow lines on it and yellw strings, so the things on the left may not be tamarind. They look very familiar to me.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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thanks guys... Emboldened, I've cracked open what looks like tamarind pods and I'm not convinced they are!
The shell is really hard and thick. Ittook several blows with a hammer to open it. I remember the guy saying the large ones went all powdery, and all of them were powdery like this so I guess it doesn't matter what they are any more.... The seed pods inside were like marbles - I couldn't break one open with a hammer without smashing it all over my kitchen and the smell is now like old socks, not a hint of tamarindy loveliness!
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:48 PM   #7
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I am pretty sure its a tamarind pod.

In this pic you'll see the different parts of one:

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Old 10-02-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
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The ones on the left could be carob pods, but I'm not absolutely certain.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
The ones on the left could be carob pods, but I'm not absolutely certain.
That's what I wondered too, so I Googled images and it doesn't seem to have the same shape of cross section.

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Old 10-02-2013, 05:31 PM   #10
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ah damn! Carob pods would have been cool! I'll ask my mate from Barbados next time I see him... are the photos of them clear enough?

the tamarindy thing was clearly over the hill anyway, so it's out in the rubbish now.. I kept a couple of seeds in case they turn out to be something, which I doubt. I use tamarind a lot and there is a similarity in the seeds - they look almost varnished and are rock hard - so maybe it's just a different variety. A cheesy one!

Thanks everyone, by the way! :D
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