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Old 10-02-2013, 11:04 AM   #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, 11:13 AM   #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, 01:18 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, 01:22 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, 01:26 PM   #5
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:44 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, 01:48 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, 02:12 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, 02:35 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, 04:31 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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Old 10-02-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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The one on the right is called:

Scientific .....Hymenaea courbaril ( West Indian Locust Tree, )
Common.......Copinol
Nick name ( which may justify the cheesy smell) is " Stinky Toe Fruit"

The pulp around the seeds smell bad, but apparently taste good. Good possibility they were dried out, which is why there wasnt any when you cracked it open.

In addition, the tree is supposed to be very very hard wood, which explains why you needed a hammer to crack it open.

Im still working on the one to the left
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:03 PM   #12
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One on the left :

Scientific....Tetrapleura tetraptera
Common.....Aridan Fruit ( West African origen)

Inside is supposed to be sweet.
didnt find out as much about this as the other.

Tetrapleura tetraptera - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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Ah awesome!! Thanks :) I'm really happy about that... The aridan fruit looks very interesting... I'm looking forward to experimenting with it!
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #14
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Larry, how the heck did you find those? Or did you already know about them?
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:50 PM   #15
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Didnt know anything about them. Just a little creative searching I guess :) I do have a friend from brazil who occasionally introduces me to new fruits and vegetables ( not the ones above). Its kinda a hobby of mine exotic fruits and vegetabls.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #16
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I think these are the pods of Delonix regia we call it 'Gulmohar' in Hindi. We used to play with this pods in our childhood.
Delonix regia' is red we call it Krishnachura' and Delonix regia var. flavida is yellow and rarer we call it 'Radhachura'in Bengal.


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We also have a superstition associated with this tree. Never plant a gulmohar in your lawn it will bring unhappiness.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
The one on the right is called:

Scientific .....Hymenaea courbaril ( West Indian Locust Tree, )
Common.......Copinol
Nick name ( which may justify the cheesy smell) is " Stinky Toe Fruit"

The pulp around the seeds smell bad, but apparently taste good. Good possibility they were dried out, which is why there wasnt any when you cracked it open.

In addition, the tree is supposed to be very very hard wood, which explains why you needed a hammer to crack it open.

Im still working on the one to the left
Hymenaea courbaril and Delonix regia both are from the same family 'Fabaceae' (the family with pod like fruits).
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:39 AM   #18
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Larry you must be a google ninja! I'm usually pretty good at tracking stuff down but didn't know where to start with these.
The Aridan fruit is also known as Prekese. I found this blog post about it - Prekese | To follow my star
She describes it as "not fruity, more like vanilla or carob, it has that kind of chocolatey/toffee/coffee-like quality to it." And judging by the smell this makes sense.
It's apparently usually made into a syrup by boiling in sugar water or burned as incense. I'll be having a bash at it this weekend, so I'll let you know how I get on. Cheers!
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:37 AM   #19
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