Re: Guille.. I miss you mate! :sad:
A tropical American tree, (anacardium occidentale), is a member of the Sumac family. It is also closely related to the mango and pistachio plants thriving within a belt running from the 7 degree north and south of the equator. A peak production area is Forteleza, Brazil. An average tree can reach 40 feet in height and bear 70 to 200 pounds of nuts for a 15 to 20 year period. Clusters of fragrant, red and yellow flowers form on the tree’s branches, yielding bright fruits, called cashew apples.
The actual nut, as it comes from the tree, is a thick-shelled, single-seeded, kidney-shaped nut. Inside the nut is the edible kernel covered with another thinner shell. Between the outer and inner shells is a thick, caustic oil called “cardol” which can cause blisters and must be removed. Kernels are roasted to remove toxins.
Because there is a lot of labor associated with cashew processing, they are expensive. The trade-off for the processors is they get to use the tasty, short-lived fruit in many ways. Processing begins when the nuts are a steam roasted. Kernels are removed from the shells by hand then heat processed for almost ten hours. The next step is to remove the outer red skin by hand with a knife. Cashews are then sized, sorted as to color and grade. There are 22 grades of cashews.