The Saturday market was filled with a sweet, delicious odour today; here is the reason why:
Do you know what these are? Most people think they are an exotic fruit, which they are. Their claim to fame, however, is the crescent on top. THAT is a cashew in it’s au naturel state. Surprised? Most people are, and realize immediately why cashews are so expensive. There is only one nut to each piece of fruit.
Another reason cashews are so expensive is that the nut (which is technically a seed) is toxic when raw so must be handled with some care. The smoke created when they are roasted is also toxic so the roasting must be done outdoors, very carefully. Don’t try this at home and don’t stand downwind!
Cashew apples (the fruit part) can be made into a sweet, astringent juice, which is tasty but kind of makes my mouth pucker. Some people eat the fruit, but I had to spit it out when I tried it. Just too much pucker for these lips! The inside is all pulp because, well, the seed is on the outside.
So, next time you scoop a handful of cashews out of the snack bowl count how many individual cashew apples you’d need to have picked in the wild, say a prayer for the folks who roasted them for you, and then enjoy your delicious, nutritious snack.