Tamarindo - City of Costa Rica
The Tamarind is a tree in the family Fabaceae. The genus Tamarindus is monotypic . It is a tropical tree, native to tropical Africa, including Sudan and parts of the Madagascar dry deciduous forests. It was introduced into India so long ago that it has often been reported as indigenous there, and it was apparently from India that it reached the Persians and the Arabs who called it "tamar hindi" , giving rise to both its common and generic names. However, the specific name, "indica", also perpetuates the illusion of Indian origin.
A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known fruit has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.
The fruit pulp is edible and popular. It is used as a spice in both Asian and Latin American cuisines, and is also an important ingredient in Imli Chutney , Pulusu , Worcestershire sauce, HP sauce and the Jamaican-produced Pickapeppa sauce . The hard green pulp of a young fruit is very tart and acidic and is most often used as a component of savory dishes. The ripened fruit is sweeter, yet still distinctively sour, and can be used in desserts and sweetened drinks, or as a snack. In Thailand, there is a carefully cultivated sweet variety with little to no tartness grown specifically to be eaten as a fresh fruit.
The pulp, leaves, and bark also have medical applications. For example, in the Philippines, the leaves have been traditionally used in herbal tea for reducing malaria fever. Tamarind is used as an Ayurvedic Medicine for gastric and/or digestion problems.
In temples, especially in Asian countries, the pulp is used to clean brass shrine furniture, removing dulling and the greenish patina that forms.
The wood is a bold red color. Due to its density and durability, tamarind heartwood can be used in making furniture and wood flooring. A tamarind switch is sometimes used as an implement for corporal punishment.
COSTA RICA National Bird : Clay-coloured Robin