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6 Facts About Where Cashew Nuts Come From that you Didn't Know
Wondering about the origin of Cashew nuts and their importance to the human diet? This article contains what you didn't know about where cashews come from.
Cashews are kidney-shaped seeds sourced from the cashew tree. They are one of the most commonly consumed nuts in the world with numerous health benefits. Regular consumption of cashew nuts helps prevent heart and blood diseases, protect the eyes from UV rays, and help digestion as they are a good dietary fibre source.
Cashew nuts also have many uses. They can be eaten as a snack or incorporated into a variety of recipes. They also have medicinal uses and are said to help improve skin and ensure healthy and shiny hair.
It’s an undisputed fact that many people love to eat cashew nuts. However, not so many people know where cashews come from:
- Cashew trees are tropical trees: Cashew trees (Anacardium Occidentale) are exotic evergreen trees with an irregular trunk that grows to about 14m (46 ft) tall. The cashew tree produces red flowers from which the fruit grows, and they are native to Brazil and Southeast Asia but are now cultivated in many countries around the world.
- They grow out of apples: Cashew nuts grow from the pear-shaped cashew apple. This long fleshy stalk may vary in colour from brown to yellow to red. The cashew apple is known as a pseudo-fruit or false fruit, which means that the flesh of the fruit is not completely derived from the ovary but some other parts of the flower-like the base or receptacle. Juice from the cashew apples is often added to tropical fruit drinks or distilled into liquor.
- Cashew nuts are seeds: Cashew nuts are seeds that grow from the ends of the cashew apple fruit. They are referred to as the real fruit, or cashew tree drupes. See when cashew nuts are harvested.
- Cashew nuts are poisonous: This seed is double-wrapped in a toxic, kidney-shaped outer shell. The poison is called Anacardic Acid, which is similar to the toxin found in poison ivy. This oily compound acts as an irritant, causing an allergic rash on the skin. The toxic substance on the shell is the reason that cashew nuts are not sold in their shells like peanuts.
- Raw cashews are Green: Before they are roasted, raw cashew seeds have a natural greenish-grey colour. After roasting, they take on the light brown colour we all know and love.
- They have to be harvested especially: When the cashew apples ripen, they are picked, with the seeds still attached, from the tree branch. Then the unique harvesting process begins. The seed, still encased in its shell, is hand twisted and plucked off, then dried and steamed. After drying, it must be frozen and boiled before it can be removed from its shell. After harvesting, cashews are dried and roasted in a lengthy process that rids the nut of toxic oils and leaves the shell brittle and easy to remove. At KODGAV, we make sure the cashews we supply are sourced from expertly harvested sources, find out more about our wholesale cashew nuts options.
Roasting cashews must be performed carefully outdoors because the smoke can irritate the lungs, sometimes to a life-threatening degree. Also, people with gallbladder issues or kidney stones are advised to avoid cashews as they contain oxalates which can exacerbate these conditions. Cashew nuts can also be found in industrial products like paints and brake liners. Read how to get wholesale cashew nuts in the UK.
Next time you’re enjoying some cashew nuts, take a moment to appreciate the journey it made from the tree to your hands.