Cashew Nuts - Fruits and Vegetable

>> Thursday, December 10, 2009

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The cashew tree is evergreen. It grows up to 12 metres high and has a spread of 25 metres. Its extensive root system allows it to tolerate a wide range of moisture levels and soil types, although, commercial production is advisable only in well-drained, sandy loam or red soils. Annual rainfall needs to be at least 889mm (35 inches) and not more than 3048mm (120 inches). Cashew trees are most frequently found in coastal areas.
The main commercial product of the cashew tree is the nut. In the main producing areas of East Africa and India, 95% or more of the apple crop is not eaten, as the taste is not popular. However, in some parts of South America and West Africa, local inhabitants regard the apple, rather than the nut kernel, as a delicacy. In Brazil, the apple is used to manufacture jams, and soft and alcoholic drinks. In Goa, in India, it is used to distil a cashew liquor called “feni”.
Although cashews may be labeled as raw, they are never completely raw since heat is a necessity during the shelling and cleaning process. However, they are more raw than crisp, roasted cashews. Raw cashews may be difficult to find, but roasted cashews are widely available, both salted and unsalted, whole or in pieces. If you are watching your fat intake, choose dry-roasted cashews which have a lower fat content than any other nut.

Cashews are highly perishable and can turn rancid quickly due to their high oil content. Choose vacuum-packed jars or cans over cellophane packaging. Store cashews in a cool, dry place in an airtight container to avoid absorption of other food odors. At room temperature, they will not last long, but if you refrigerate them, they can last up to 6 months. Cashews may also be frozen up to 1 year.


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