I subscribe to a magazine called Cuisine at Home. A few days ago I decided to make the Pad Thai recipe out of the latest issue.
The recipe called for several food that are unusual to me. (sambal oelek, tamarind paste, fish sauce) I was able to find everything but the tamarind at my local grocery store. I had never heard of tamarind paste before and had no idea even what I was looking for. According to the recipe "Tamarind is a staple in Thai cuisine and gives the dish its sour note with a tangy, dried fruit flavor that tastes somewhat like raisins and lemon".
I tried two grocery stores yesterday and had no luck, The staff I asked were no help at all. So I gave up. Today I went to our local Mexican grocery store.
Right away a man asked if he could help me and showed me where to find the tamarind paste.
Tonight I made the recipe. Although the paste said it was seedless I did have to take out a few seeds but other than that the recipe came out well.