Thursday, December 11, 2008

do you know where cashew nuts come from?

my dad just returned tonight from a short vacation to cambodia, and brought back adidas t-shirts from the factory outlet, and some local snacks, including cashew nuts which mum loves.

while munching on the cashew nuts just a while ago, i casually asked dad if these nuts grow underground like peanuts. his answer was no. incidentally, the tour group had passed by some cashew trees during their trip, and they noticed that the cashew is one of the rare plants which has seeds (the cashew nuts) that actually grow outside the fruit and not within.

so out of curiosity, i did a quick google search and found this picture:
(picture credit: amy kate horn @ SLOG)

see that light brownish arched shell (the fruit) at the bottom of the bigger crimson fruit (called a pseudo-fruit because it doesn't actually bear the seed/nut)? that's where the cashew nut can be found (within). very interesting, isn't it? the cashew nuts that we eat so often, and yet know so little of :)

did you also know:

"The (Cashew) nut kernel inside is covered with an inner shell, and between the two shells is a thick, caustic, and toxic oil called cardol. Cashew nuts must be cleaned to remove the cardol and then roasted or boiled to remove the toxins before they can be eaten." (source: raintree nutrition)

i guess that's why those yummy packs of roasted cashew nuts we find at the supermarkets don't come cheap :)

if the fun facts on cashew nuts got you curious about other nuts we commonly consume too, here are some other interesting pictures and facts from wikipedia:

- almond
- hazel
- macadamia
- pistachio
- walnut


Andrew said...

Thanks Celest, that was very interesting and just the information I was looking for =)

celest said...

hi Andrew,

that's cool, glad my entry was of some help :) thanks for visiting my blog.