Get ready to be educated on the cashew. These nuts are not actually nuts but the seeds of the tropical, evergreen cashew plant that grows in warm and humid climates across the globe.
Most fruits have seeds that are enclosed in the center of the fruit itself. Think about an apple or an orange for example. The cashew apple (as it is called) which like an elongated apple and turns yellow or red when it is ripe, does not.
The cashew nut is not in the center of the apple. It hangs from the bottom of the apple inside this kidney bean-shaped growth or drupe. Each apple contains a single nut.
You don’t often see cashew apples in stores in countries where cashews are not grown because the skin of the fruit is too delicate for travel. However, you should definitely give them a try if you see on your travels.
Cashews are rich, a touch sweet, and for lack of a better way to describe it, nutty in flavor. Along with being a great food to snack on, they are used in a variety of cuisines from all over the world.
Not only that, but they are made into a variety of other products. Cashews are high in starch which makes them perfect for ingredients dairy-free milk as well as nut-based cheeses, cream sauces, and sour cream not to mention being ground into nut butter.
Cashews can be purchased in a variety of ways at the store: raw, roasted, roasted and salted, candied, etc. These will either be pre-packaged or in bulk bins. Personally, I like to buy them in bulk and raw so I can choose how to prepare them, but make sure your store has a good turn over rate.
They are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like E, K, and B-6 along with magnesium, iron, copper, selenium, and others.
Like many nuts, cashews are not an easy thing to cultivate. Each apple on the tree produces a single nut. Both have to be harvested by hand and then the nut has to go through the process of having its two outer layers removed.
There are two outer layers that the farmers must get through before they get to the nut itself. This process includes cutting them open and then, ridding them of a resin that is toxic when ingested or when it comes in contact with your skin.
To do this, they go through the process of steaming or roasting cashews. This is also why you will never see them sold in a shell. Naturally, they would be a beautiful shade of green.
You better believe they can! Anything with fat in it can technically turn. Give them a good smell. If it smells like anything other than what cashews smell like, they are past their prime. Also, look for wrinkled skin as this is another indicator that they are no longer good.
If you want to get the most out of your cashews before they go bad, put them in an airtight container in a cool and dark place. If you aren’t ready to eat them yet, they can last in your freezer for up to 6 months.