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That's Nuts!



Cashew nuts. They come in many vareties, most often in pieces. Whether or not you eat them by the handfuls or even like them doesn't really matter. What matters is that their journey is an arduous and fascinating one worth taking a look at, particularly before the next time you have an opportunity to eat one or be near someone who is (aka - take it for granted). Some things you should know and appreciate:

Cashews are native to the Americas, but widely cultivated in India and Africa since the 16th century. You never see cashews for sale in the shell because between the outer and inner shells covering the nut is an extremely caustic oil. The outer shell must be roasted or burned off with the oil (the smoke is also an irritant). The kernels are then boiled or roasted again, and a second shell is removed.

The cashew family includes: mango, pistachio, and poison ivy!, among others.

Oil from cashew nut shells is used in insecticides, brake linings, and rubber and plastic manufacture. The milky sap from the tree is used to make a varnish.

The cashew apple is a "pseudofruit"– it is actually the swollen stalk of the true fruit (the nut itself).

Most astoundingly, take a look at this informative documentation (complete with visual aids) on the cashew and its involved processing (who knows? You might even learn something new!)...No joke!



--Posted by marc
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2:01 AM

I can't believe it is that absurdly complicated to get cashews. I am also incredibly glad it is. How did anyone ever figure out that you could eat them?

Probably by watching animals.    



10:29 AM

Marc's extensive knowledge of nuts is cornfounding.    



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