Cashews

Category: Nuts
Main Origins: India, Vietnam, Brazil
Harvest Times: October to June

The cashew tree (anacardium occidentale) grows in tropical areas near the equator. The plant has a vast root system that makes it a drought resistant crop. Around 97% of cashew nuts are thought to be harvested from the wild or small peasant holdings.

The cashew fruit consists of two very distinct parts: a fleshy stalk similar to an apple or a pear; and a kidney shaped nut which shell has a grey brownish colour. The stalk is also known as the cashew apple and has shiny red or yellow skin, and a size ranging from 5 to 10 cm. What makes the cashew a very peculiar fruit is the fact that the nut hangs from the lower end of the cashew apple. After the cashew flower blooms, the nut forms; then later on, the apple grows between the nut shell and the stem. There is just one kernel in each Cashew fruit, hence their relatively high price.

During harvest, the nuts are manually collected by hand from the ground and the apples still on trees are hand-picked. Great care is needed in the post-harvest period until the cashews are processed (i.e. shelled, roasted).

Although the apple is used for the production of juices and alcoholic beverages in the countries of origin, the main commercial product is the cashew nut itself. Shelled cashew nuts raw or roasted and salted are a very popular snack worldwide. They are also a very common ingredient in Asian cuisine and have several applications in the confectionery industry.

NV Cashew nuts are jam-packed with nutritional content. They are high in protein and essential minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese. Cashews are lower in fats than most nuts and have no cholesterol although are high in monounsaturated fatty acids which help support healthy levels of good cholesterol (also known as HDL-C). They are also rich in carbohydrates, fibre and vitamin A and contain vitamin E.

Kenkko can supply cashews from all origins, grades and sizes.

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