The Taste of Tamarind Saves the Day!

I feel like you’re not a real NYC food blogger until you write about Smorgasburg. So here goes!

This weekend, I spent close to three hours eating at Smorgasburg, a flea food market that takes place every weekend in Brooklyn. So obviously, it would be crazy to review all the things I ate! Also, at these Brooklyn markets, there is A LOT of columbusing that happens when white people serve bland versions of rich, South Asian food (I’m not even going to start listing those places). 

Anyway, my friend came back with this unfamiliar beverage that also had a spoon in it? I was intrigued.  I learned that it’s called a chamoyada and the best way to describe it is a Mexican slushie of sorts.

Actually, this image is the best way to describe it: 

chamoyada

 Of course, when I went to find it, there was a white hipster dude at the La Newyorkina stall who totally crushed on my Keith Haring T-shirt. La Newyorkina typically sells Mexican ice and sweets out of a variety of confectionaries in Brooklyn. Nevertheless, at Smorgasburg, they were selling fresh juices and chamoyadas.

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For the fruit ice part of the chamoyada, you could choose mango, hibiscus or both. I’m Indian so the obvious choice is mango and that’s what I went with. The complete ensemble looked like this (excuse my pigtails and odd facial expression).


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The Presentation was great, especially since it looked so cooling in that New York summer heat. Unfortunately, the Taste missed the mark due to a disproportionate ratio of chamoy to fruit ice. The chamoy (pickled plum juice) was cloyingly sweet and overwhelmed my taste buds, causing me dig further into the mango fruit ice with a frenzied desperation. The mango fruit ice helped cool down the intense flavors but there was just too much chamoy and tajin (salted chili powder) trickling down to the bottom of the glass. Despite my initial excitement about the chamoyada, I could only eat/drink about a quarter of it before my stomach started hurting.

I was missing Aaron Sanchez at that point because I knew he’d make the same remark about the overbearing sweetness. This is why I need to be a judge on Chopped, guys!

The best part of chamoyada was definitely the tamarind stick. Warning: This is for tamarind lovers because it was super sour but in the best way possible. The tamarind was coated in chili powder and that added an extra zing without becoming too spicy. Honestly, the tamarind stick made the chamoyada absolutely delightful and I was hoping I could have two more to make up for the rest of the dish/drink.

As someone who was unfamiliar with chamoyada until this weekend, I don’t know if I can rate its level of Creativity. It reminded me of a street food snack you can find on the streets of India but it is the distinct Mexican flavors that make the chamoyada truly unique.

This weekend, I fell in love with the concept of a chamoyada and am on a mission to find the right one for me. Accepting recommendations!

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