History of Food

History of Food

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day (4/21/2010)

What a day to cheer and celebrate!

While I couldn't find any particular history about National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day, I decided to take this opportunity to learn a little more about cashews.

Cashews are native to the Americas, however since the 16th century cashews are now widely growin in Africa and India.

Did you know???
  • You will never see cashews sold in their sell in the store of markets
  • Cashews have two shells and between the two shells there is a VERY caustic oil
  • To get the outer shells off first the cashew is roasted or burned off with the oil - even the smoke from this process is an irritant
  • To remove the inner shell the cashew is boiled or roasted again allowing the inner shell to come off
  • Cashews are native to the Amazon region
  • Cashews were introduced to India by the Portuguese in the 16th Century
  • Oil from cashew nut shells is used in insecticides, brake linings, and rubber and plastic manufacturing
  • The milky sap from the tree is used to make a varnish
  • The cashew family includes: cashew, sumac, varnish tree, smoke tree, mombin, kafir plum, mango, pistachio, Peruvian pepper tree and poison ivy
  • The cashew (Anacardium occidentale; syn. Anacardium curatellifolium A.St.-Hil.) is a tree in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae
  • The cashew tree is native to northeastern Brazil. Its English name derives from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree, caju, which in turn derives from the indigenous Tupi name, acaj├║.
  • In Goa, India and Mtwara, Tanzania and Mozambique the cashew apple (the accessory fruit) is mashed and juice is extracted & kept for fermentation for 2-3 days. Fermented juice then undergoes double distillation process to make a strong liquor.
  • The fats and oils in cashew nuts are 54% monounsaturated fat (18:1), 18% polyunsaturated fat (18:2), and 16% saturated fat (9% palmitic acid (16:0) and 7% stearic acid (18:0)).
These are cashews ready for harvest.
A Cashew Tree


  1. I never knew, Carol. Those photos of the nut still in the casing shells and on the tree...look almost obscene. They appear to be a larger than I would have guessed.

    They also seem to come from a pretty dangerous family line...whew....

  2. Don't have any cashews to celebrate today... but have some different nuts, and chocolate covered raisins, and already had some :-)