Salted cashew nuts. A bar snack favourite. The ones that disappear first from the mixed bag.
The unsalted variety are also a great protein-filled snack that doesn’t bore the taste buds.
But, do you know where they come from?
If you are like me, this question probably left you dumbfounded. Little did I know that cashew nuts actually grow on trees, out of the bottom of “cashew apples”, to be exact!
I kid you not!
Unlike many other nut varieties, cashews grow out the bottom of a fruit called a “cashew apple”, just like below.
The apple itself is known as an “accessory fruit” because it’s not the part humans actually like to eat.
Also mind-boggling is the fact that the cashew nut isn’t actually a nut. By botanical standards it’s a seed.
Lots of cultures around the world do eat the apple itself. They make it into jams and juices, or add it to curries for sweetness.
The reason these seeds look nothing like the cashews we eat by the handful, is because the seed itself is surrounded by several toxic layers.
To make them edible, they need to be shelled and roasted.
So, did you already know that cashews grew like this? Well if not, you do now!