Aw, Nuts

I think it was the Comedian who recently asked what cashews look like in the shell. I realized that I had absolutely no idea. We became quite curious about this matter, so a little research uncovered the following interesting tidbits:

  1. the cashew tree is an evergreen

  2. the cashew tree is related to the mango, poison ivy, and poison oak

  3. the kernel, or nut, actually grows at the bottom of the fruit, the cashew apple (see pic)

  4. cashews grow in tropical climates and cannot survive frost

  5. the shell oil is caustic and can burn skin

I guess that last fact explains why we can't buy them in the shell. That doesn't sound like a very fun task. Given their frost issues, we won't be growing any here in Colorado. Tropical we are not.

As we further discussed nuts in shells, we discovered that we hadn't seen macadamia nuts in shells either. It turns out that is a little easier to track down, purchase even. But why are they so costly? Because they're so hard to crack. Three hundred pounds per square inch of pressure is required to shell macadamia nuts. Apparently precision would be important here. Otherwise, I suppose you'd have macadamia nut meal.

I hope you enjoyed this little foray into nut trivia. I've uncovered some other interesting facts. Maybe I'll share them some other Saturday.

For more cashew information, click on the picture at the top. For macadamia pix, click on the link in the previous paragraph.


Kim said...

In Brazil they make juice out of the cashew apple. YOu can buy it alongside the orange juice.

I'm not a fan, but some people looooove it. Tastes like liquid cashew nuts. Ewwww!

Rachael said...

I am totally fascinated by tree nuts. I just stare at the pictures, like the one you posted, and have my mind blown.

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