Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cashew fruit

Cashew fruit or "cashew apples" are one of my favorite jungle fruits. Why? because they are easy to identify, pick, and prepare, Combined with the fact they can be found in tropical areas all over the world. I have found them in Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Native to Brazil, Cashews were - like many other south American and Mexican fruits - introduced to Asia by the Portuguese and Spanish. The cashew apple, also called cashew fruit, is the fleshy part of the cashew fruit that is attached to the cashew nut. The top end of the cashew apple is attached to the stem that comes off the tree. The bottom end of the cashew apple attaches to the cashew nut, which is encased in a shell. In botanical terms, the cashew apple is an accessory fruit that grows on the cashew seed (which is the nut).

The cashew apple is a soft fruit, rich in nutrients, and contains five times more vitamin C than an orange. It is eaten fresh, cooked in curries, or fermented into vinegar, as well as an alcoholic drink. It is also used to make preserves, chutneys, and jams in some countries such as India and Brazil. In many countries, particularly in South America, the cashew apple is used to flavor drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. In Brazil, it is a popular fruit flavor for the national drink, the caipirinha.

If you ever get a chance to travel to the tropic anywhere in the world, check out this easily identified and readily available food source.

See you on the trail!



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