Welcome to all nut lovers And the one’s that do not too. If you came here it is because you want to know about cashews And the truth is, it’s not to send us the part, but you couldn’t have arrived at a better place. We are going to tell you really useful information to add to your cooking and your meals.
Cashews are nuts widely known and appreciated throughout the world.. The cashew, whose scientific name is anacardium occidentale, is the fruit of the cashew tree, native to tropical America, especially Brazil. Stay and find out more.
They grow at the end of a fleshy peduncle called “pseudofruit” or “perinaceous”. They are nuts, although they are often mistakenly associated with legumes due to their appearance and growth pattern..
These evergreen trees belong to the Anacardiaceae family and are valued for both their fruit and their wood.. This fruit is known to be an ancient crop that has been cultivated in the region for centuries.
How and in what to use cashews
In cooking, they are used in various ways. They are popular as a snack, roasted and salted, and can be consumed alone or mixed with other nuts.
They are also used in making sauces, especially in the creation of “cashew milk,” a milk substitute in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Additionally, they are used in baked goods, desserts, and mixed into salads to add a touch of flavor and texture.
It is important to mention that raw foods contain a chemical substance called urushiol, which is toxic and can cause skin irritation.. Therefore, they are generally sold processed that have eliminated this toxic substance, making them safe for consumption.
Other names of cashews
- Cashews: This name is commonly used in some Spanish-speaking countries and elsewhere. Although it can cause confusion, since cashews are not technically nuts.
- Cashew nuts: It is a name used in some regions of Latin America, especially in the Caribbean and Central America.
- Cashew: This name is used in some Latin American countries, such as Peru.
- Cashew: In English, the term “cashew” is widely used to refer to cashews.
- Cashew: In French, cashew nuts are called “anacarde.”
- Cashew: In Portuguese, cashews are known as “caju”.
- Brazilian pistachio: They are sometimes called that because of their similarity in flavor and texture to pistachios.
An ancient history for cashews
The history of the cashew as a crop dates back to the indigenous peoples of South America, where it was consumed and used in traditional medicine.. During colonization, the Portuguese brought it to their colonies in Africa and Asia, resulting in its spread in those regions.
Brazil remains one of the main producers, along with other tropical countries such as India, Vietnam, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Today, cashew is an economically and nutritionally important crop grown in many parts of the world, especially in tropical and subtropical climates.
Difference between cashews and almonds
When it comes to choosing between cashews and almonds, the most significant difference lies in the fatty acid profile. Cashews are higher in fat than almonds.
Both can be part of a balanced and healthy diet. The choice depends largely on personal preferences and individual nutritional needs.
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8 important facts to know about cashews
- Poison in the shell: The shell of cashew nuts contains a toxic substance called urushiol, which is also found in poison ivy poison. This is why they are sold in stores peeled and roasted, to remove any traces of urushiol.
- Double harvest: Unlike many other nuts that only produce one crop a year, they can have two crops in a single year. This is due to the peculiarity of its growth process.
- The upside down nut: Cashews grow on the end of a fleshy stalk called a “pseudofruit,” and what we generally think of as the nut is actually the seed. This makes them unique among nuts.
- Wide culinary versatility: They are used in a variety of dishes and culinary preparations, from savory appetizers to desserts. They are the base of the popular “cashew milk”, which is used in vegan and vegetarian recipes to replace animal milk. Its process is similar to almond milk.
- First historical references: It is believed that they have been consumed for more than 4,000 years. There is evidence that they were used in cooking in ancient India and in some indigenous cultures of South America.
- Global economy: Cashew nuts are an important economic crop in several regions of the world, such as India, Vietnam, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. They contribute significantly to the economy of these countries and are an important source of employment.
- European expansion: The Portuguese brought cashews from Brazil to their colonies in Africa and Asia, which contributed to their spread in those regions. This is also part of the reason why they are known by different names in different parts of the world.
- Valuable wood: In addition to its fruits, the cashew tree produces wood that is highly valued in the lumber industry. Cashew wood is used for the manufacture of high-quality furniture, utensils and wooden products.