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Cashews, Nut? Fruit? Apple?

Did you know the popular snack, the Cashew, actually comes from a fruit? The nut itself is attached to the top of the fruit, and when harvested the nut is twisted off and the fruit consumed. They call the fruit part of the cashew the cashew apple. Eating the raw cashew nut, however, can be poisonous and  proper roasting of the nut is necessary to remove a certain chemical similar to that found in poison ivy plants before it can be consumed. From what I gather, this process is very tedious and particular, and it certainly makes more sense why bags of cashew nuts are so expensive!

The aroma and taste of the fruit is pungent and delicious, exhibiting very strong fruity citrus notes, with a hint of green pepper. If you want to impress your friends next time you are describing the bouquet of a wine, think the kind of complex and tropical aroma found on a full bodied Australian style Chardonnay. Unfortunately, you’ll have to take my word for it as I’m told cashew apples are far too delicate to export.

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