Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Cashews

Over Christmas we were wondering why it is that none of us could picture a cashew shell (whereas most other nuts can be bought in their shells). Cashews - the true fruit of the cashew tree grow attached to a false or accessory fruit, known as the cashew apple (though it looks more like a pepper in shape). The cashew apple is edible and very sweet, but difficult to transport (presumably why we don't ever see them in the UK).



Cashew nuts themselves are surrounded by a double shell. The nut is found on the end closest to the cashew apple. The other end is honeycombed with cells that contain a toxic fluid called cardol that blisters the mouth. For many years, the cashew was referred to as the blister nut.



2 comments:

Graham said...

Readers of your Blog must now be amongst a very select band of people in the UK (and New Zealand!)who know what a cashew nut fruit looks like. It presumably explains why they are so expensive because, presumably (sorry about the repetition), they have to be harvested by hand.

Scriptor Senex said...

Your mentioning blister nuts reminded me that Dad had a thing about cashew nuts and reckoned they weren't good for you. Perhaps that is where the idea came from.