I have had my fair share of somewhat negative experiences with nectars in the past. In general, I feel that they tend to be too thick, and they usually leave me feeling heavy and gross after I drink one. As a result, I tend to steer clear of them, but I recently stumbled across Goya's Tamarind Nectar, and I decided to give it a try for several reasons.
First, I love tamarind. I am sure that I have mentioned this before in a previous post somewhere on this blog, but tamarind is one of my favorite fruits. It's flavor does not always lend itself well to some of the things in which it is included, but I always look forward to trying a new tamarind-inspired product, regardless. Secondly, I have had a relatively positive experience with Goya's products in the past (with maybe one exception), and I calculated that the low asking price justified at least giving the drink a chance.
Unfortunately, my feelings on the drink are less than positive. A quick look at the ingredients (water, tamarind pulp, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, ascorbic acid) reflects the Goya tradition: a relatively simple drink with a strong focus on the fruit at hand. However, the drink does not taste simple. This could be easy blamed on tamarind's naturally complex flavor, but I feel that the complications do not arise from the fruit alone. It is hard to quantify exactly what it is that I don't like about this drink, but I think that it may have something to do with the added ascorbic acid. Although the acid does provide a full daily serving of Vitamin C, I don't think that it was a good addition to the beverage. Natural tamarind tends to have a bit of a bitter undertone, and the acidity of Goya's well-intentioned concoction really just does not mesh well with the tamarind base. Although the taste of the tamarind in the nectar is very earthy and natural, the extra ingredients make it difficult to drink, making Goya's Tamarind Nectar a difficult recommendation for anybody except the most ardent of tamarind fans.
If you really like tamarind and think that you may be able to look past the acidity, then this one is at least worth the money to try out. But on the whole, I really don't think that I can recommend this one. It's just too strange to enjoy, and if you are not previously familiar with tamarind, then this drink is really not the place to start learning more about it.
Verdict: Not recommended
Purchased: Wal-Mart [Columbia, SC]
Size: 9.6 fl oz [284mL]