My mom who’s able to make preserves out of anything used to make tamarind preserves. Easy for her since we had a tree in front of our house. Making tamarind candies were not her thing though.
Most tamarind candies I’ve encountered, and that would be a lot since we owned a store until about five years ago, are – how would you call it? – not machine processed? home-made? The thing with these candies is that the taste is inconsistent. You are never really sure if the bag you got will yield really sweet or really sour ones. A few have way too much salt. I never liked the ones with seeds nor the fibrous ones. I prefer balls over rolls.
About a decade ago, if memory serves me right, machine processed tamarind candies made their way into the aisles of grocery stores. While some of the hard ones taste fine, I prefer those with a chewy texture. Frutos, a local brand of chewy fruit-flavored candies, has tropical fruit flavored variants with tamarind as one of the flavors. I like them but find myself looking for that salty kick.
Then a few years ago, my sister in law requested for Moniegold Chewy Tamarind Candies as pasalabong for when we go to SG to visit her. Intrigued, we also got a canister, the first of many that soon graced our kitchen table.
Moniegold Chewy Tamarind Candies remind me of pebble candies (think Nerds) or those rock chips which one can string together to make bracelets or necklaces. Just slightly smaller. They look hard but they’re not. The smooth surface is not a shell and the whole candy is perfectly chewable. I often eat them piece by piece rather than gobble a handful up.
Surprisingly, they taste like normal tamarind candies. There’s no weird aftertaste and they don’t taste medicine-y. They have the right balance of sweet and sour with a hint of salt and a bit of spicy bite. Okay so it’s the spicy bite that makes it different from the tamarind candies I’ve tasted before. The label lists its ingredients as cane sugar, tamarind, glucose syrup and artificial color. Makes me wonder what gives the candy its salty, spicy twinge. Another plus to these candies is that they don’t leave a mess on your hands. They haven’t melted on me ever and there’s no dusting of sugar nor salt.
Moniegold Chewy Tamarind Candies are actually manufactured in Thailand. We get our supply from SM Hypermarket. It is available in 150 gram and 80 gram plastic canisters and 40 gram packs. The plastic canisters are sturdy enough that they can be recycled to hold tiny trinkets, accessories and craft stuff.