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From tangy soups to sweet chutneys to juices and carbonated drinks, tamarind is a versatile ingredient used to heighten flavor in both sweet and savory dishes. The fruit comes from the tamarind tree and is cocooned inside seed pods. It has a date-like texture and is crushed to make tamarind paste or a less-diluted tamarind concentrate. The fruit can also be extracted from fresh pods or purchased in chunks. It is a culinary staple in the Caribbean, India, Thailand, and Mexico.