The Secret of the Sinister Cashew.

A few years ago, Alastair planted several cashew trees in the camp.  The cashew is another one of those wonderful foods that I enjoyed eating on a regular basis at home, but had no knowledge about its growth or cultivation…or its malevolent secret.

To be involved with a plant food and witness its evolution from seed to fruit is something spectacular, yet I often take it for granted.

I was really surprised to see what a cashew looks like on the tree.

IMG_0027

The nut, or seed to be precise, hangs from the bottom of the cashew apple, a yellow fruit that has a sweet but distinctive taste.

IMG_0016

The cashew nut has two shells. Inside the outer layer of the cashew nut, is a toxic liquid that can cause severe, even fatal, reactions to the skin and body, especially if ingested.  Therefore, the nuts must be roasted in a fire to burn away the toxin, and thus eliminate the danger, before eating.  Even cashews purchased in stores that are labeled “raw” are first processed at high heats and thus are not technically raw.

IMG_0024

It is strange how something so delicious can be enrobed in something so harmful.  Nevertheless, Alastair and I enjoyed eating our cashew apple fruit but removed the cashew nuts (or seeds) to keep only for planting…just to be safe :)

IMG_0033

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Secret of the Sinister Cashew.

  1. You know how I also love cashews – in fact had them as treats instead of chocolate ! Well, I was so excited to be given some in Nigeria and not knowing about the toxins proceeded to peel them – I have never forgotten the rash that developed! However, they’re still delicious !! Enjoy love Sue XXX

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s