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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Trader Joe's Tamarind Sauce

Not all that long ago, the beautiful wifey made a comment about craving tamarind sauce with another Trader Joe's product we reviewed. The comment struck me as totally random at the time, but at least part of my reaction was due to my general disdain for tamarind-flavored things.

I've had tamarind candy, tamarind soda, and even tamarind-flavored vodka. In each case, I thought it was kinda gross. Sonia grew up with such treats...well, okay, not the vodka, but the tamarind candy and beverages are something she's totally accustomed to. I think it's a Mexican thing.

To me, this sauce isn't a far cry from steak sauce, flavor-wise, but perhaps a bit more versatile. It's a bit thinner than A1 and other leading brands and perhaps a tad sweeter, but both types of sauces are tart, tangy, citrusy, and have an interesting blend of peppery spices underneath it all. This tamarind sauce is almost like a slightly fruitier version of Worcestershire sauce.

I don't think the average American wants A1-flavored candy or steak sauce soda, do you? But in its proper context as a condiment for meat, it's perfectly tasty. I'd say the same for tamarind, personally.

This sauce worked well with salmon, providing the same sort of sweet-tart element you might get from teriyaki sauce. It also went great with grilled chicken. I'm sure it would work well with white fish or shrimp. I don't eat steak very often, but I'd absolutely use it in place of A1 or Worcestershire.


It pours a deep, dark brown—almost like used motor oil. But because it's so relatively thin, it doesn't coat very well, and you can go through a lot of it quite quickly. I think it was $2.99 for about 7 oz.

We're both down for another purchase. Four stars from me. Four and a half from Sonia.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

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