September 13, 2021
From Vegan Foundry
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Most people are very familiar with the frustrations involved in trying to find a slightly unusual ingredient in stores. Sometimes you can order it online, but that isn’t always a viable option, so perhaps you’re wondering where you can buy tamarind paste. This isn’t always easy, but this article should help you!

Several different stores sell tamarind paste, even though it is a fairly unusual ingredient. Walmart, for example, should sell tamarind paste, so if you can access a Walmart, that’s a good starting point. Other stores include Safeway and Kroger. Usually, this paste is found in the International Aisle, along with other international foods, or spices.

Which Stores Stock Tamarind Paste?

If you have a local Walmart, you’re in luck when you’re looking for tamarind paste, because they usually have several different brands available. Try looking for Aunt Patty’s Organic Tamarind Paste as one option, and use their website to check they have some available.

For those who prefer not to visit the mass corporations, Whole Foods is a somewhat smaller store that stocks tamarind paste, and you may find the products are higher quality, although they do also carry Aunt Patty’s Organic Tamarind Paste. 

tamarind paste
kattebelletje, CC BY-NC 2.0, via Flickr

Many Whole Foods stores also have Tamicon and Neera’s Tamarind Paste, so you may want to call your local one and check what they have in stock to avoid disappointment.

Alternatively, if you’re dropping into an Asian market for other foodstuff (as you may well be if you need tamarind paste for a recipe), consider checking there for the paste. They will often have a range of options, depending on the size of the market, and other ethnic markets may also stock this product if you are lucky.

Publix is another option, and they sometimes carry fresh and frozen options as well as the paste, so this is well worth looking into if possible. You might find the range is bigger.

Alternatively, try out Albertson’s, for Goya Fruta Tamarind Pulp, or Wegmans for Laxmi Tamarind.

If none of those stores work for you, consider trying a Kroger, which often carries tamarind paste and tamarind pods – so you can get fresh pods for your recipe if necessary.

Finally, if you haven’t got any of these local, you may have to try online shopping, in which case Amazon has a large range of pastes and other options, so you should be able to find pretty much anything that you need there.

Other online shops are likely to stock the paste too, but your best bet is Amazon unless you have a preferred retailer.

Where Will I Find Tamarind Paste In A Grocery Store?

To be fair, tamarind paste is not always easy to find. It isn’t a common product, and a lot of places might struggle to find it for you, even if they stock it. Don’t worry if staff members look at you with a blank expression when you ask them; it is pretty unusual in most Western cooking.

However, there are a few good places to check, especially if you are pretty sure that the store has it.

First of all, head to the international foods aisle, as this is the most likely location for the paste. You should browse through the Indian, Latin, and Thai food shelves and see if you can see it there. This is usually where the paste will be stocked.

Sometimes, tamarind paste is kept in the freezers, so try this aisle next. Your best bet is in among the frozen vegetables and fruits; try searching through the packets here, and you may find you’re in luck.

If you still haven’t located it, head to the spice aisle. The tamarind paste isn’t especially likely to be there, but this is probably the last option, so it’s worth checking it out before you give up. It may be stocked among the spices.

If you haven’t managed to find any tamarind paste, you could check in the produce area for fresh tamarind pods. They are sometimes stocked among the other produce and they will work just as well.

You will have to do a bit more work to process the pods into spices, but this should be manageable and you will end up with particularly fresh tamarind paste, which could make your recipe even better.

Where Do Specific Stores Stock It?

Bear in mind that chain stores vary in their layouts and swap stock around from time to time, but it may help you to know where to look in any given store. So, in general, Walmart puts its tamarind paste in either the condiment aisle or the spice aisle. If it isn’t there, they may not have any.

Wegmans keeps tamarind paste in the international food aisle, although you may also find it in other aisles.

If you’re in Albertson’s or Safeway, tamarind paste is likely to be in the freezer aisle. From a Publix, it could be in the freezer or one of the aisles, or with fresh produce, since they sell all three forms (in some stores, at least).

What Does It Look Like?

You may find that it helps to know what you’re actually looking for. Of course, products will vary between makers, but if you are looking in one of the aisles, you are probably looking for a glass jar. It will usually be filled with a dark brown or light brown paste, around the color of chocolate.

If you are looking in the freezers, look for a vacuum pack of dark brown.

Tamarind pods in the fresh produce aisle will look something like a large broad bean pod or a lumpy peanut shell. They are light brown and made up of a series of bumps, in which the fruit grows.

Conclusion

Tamarind paste isn’t the easiest thing to find, but you should be able to. Check that stores have it in stock before going on a hunt, as not all places will supply it and you could waste your time otherwise.

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Source: Veganfoundry.com