Northern Brazil is the birthplace of the Cashew. It grows between two areas of rainforests. From here the Portuguese got the Cashew around the mid-1500. Then the Cashew spend across Africa and Central America. The Cashew tree grows best in areas where there is a wet and dry seasons. It can grow in wet climates, but does not produce much nuts when in this area.
In the beginning, The Cashew was not meant for eating. The Portuguese plated the Cashew tree to reduce erosion on Africa and India. It was not until the 1900’s when the Cashew nut started to be advertised as eatable and began communalizing it around the world. Since the cashew tree needs a tropical areas, 90% of cashews come from Brazil, India, Vietnam and Nigeria, Germany and the United States are the top importers of this nut.
Cashews, unlike peanuts, come from a tree. Inside a stem of the fruit, the cashew nut lives. The fruit is called a cashew apple. The Cashew apple is eatable, however, the cashew nut is the main product produced by this tree. However, the cashew nut is not flesh to eat right away. The stem is very poisonous. It contains an acid-like oil that can only be burned out of the stem. This must be done before the nut can be eaten. If done improperly the nut can be harmful to human life. This and the fact that this clearing process takes a long time, is the reason why this nut is expensive.
In the video below, they show the rigorous process of cultivating the cashew from picking to its roasting.
Last Update on October 1, 2012