My uncle asked me if I want to go with him to his farm. The purpose was to get some tamarind. I want to eat some sweet tamarind so I said yes without a doubt.
He want a company because he is afraid of climbing tall trees. The ferocious bees frequently resides in it. Bee sting while climbing might send someone down the ground instantly, with broken bones, wounds and bruises. Besides, my uncle is too heavy to climb. He looks like a nine-months pregnant women.
When we arrived at the tree, lots of ripe tamarind were on the ground. Most of fallen tamarind are still good. I climbed the tree not to pick tamarind by hand but just shake branches and gather the fallen fruits.
Why are we after the fallen tamarind?
1) Its hard to pick them by hand one by one. Ripe tamarind have shrank flesh leaving the shell undamaged. This creates a hollow space. Ripe fruits can be determined by tapping with fingernails. Color never changes as the fruit ripens.
2) Using a hooked basket with extender pole may do the job but this will also get the unripe fruits.
3) Ripe fruits have brittle stalks. Shaking the branches will cause them to drop.
4) Last and ultimate purpose. Fully ripe tamarind and best tasting. It fall easily when the branches are shaken.
Because of the fourth reason, short and well manged trees could be suitable with mechanical harvesters. Seed during processing operation can e extracted out with machine. The shell though should be done by hand. It is brittle, it should be separated with care. Mechanical arms and other parts could easily mess it. Dumping both shell and flesh in tank.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.