Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cashew Tastings

Our cashew trees had a terrific yield this year, the best we have ever seen.  Cashew nuts have a very unusual structure - the nut hangs below the yellow or red cashew fruit.
Cashew nuts dangle beneath yellow cashew fruits, called cashew apples.  You can also see some of the green apples and green nuts on the right side of the photo.
Those little cashew flowers, which are never large or showy, make big fruits and nuts.  Many hummingbirds love the cashew flowers and the flowers smell delightful.
Almost every day for a month or so this many fruits and nuts fell to the ground for easy harvest.
Joy harvested lots of nuts and let them air dry before toasting them.  Here, she is wrapped for protection against sparking embers and smoke while stirring a big pot containing the nuts still inside the shells.
The fire is made in a circle of conch shells with dried sticks shoved underneath to feed the fire.
The smoke is from the oil in the shells.
Joy uses an old pot with holes poked through the bottom.  The nuts are heated in the otherwise empty pot.  Once they have cooked enough, the pot is dragged off the fire and tipped over.
The nuts cool on the ground before sorting out those needing a little more roasting.
Look how oily the nuts are. Once cooled, the shells are cracked open with a hammer and the nuts picked out.
After shelling, the Joy's cashews are ready to eat.
I brought some of the cashews Joy prepared and some other locally prepared cashews to my sister's place in Colorado where I am now.  My other sister and her family and my brother are here for a little family reunion of sorts.  We are doing a taste test of the 3 sources of cashew nuts along with some assorted Belize chocolate from Cotton Tree Chocolates accompanied by some lovely Port wine.  The result of the cashew tasting - 5 out of 7 adults prefer Joy's cashews to those packaged for sale in American grocery stores or the batch purchased from a street vendor in Belize.  The American store cashews were too salty and perhaps a little "pasty" while Joy's were crunchier and tastier than the either the American or the other Belize nuts.

More from Colorado coming up.

8 comments:

  1. Interesting info about the cashews Wilma. I was amazed when in Tobago one time on holiday, to see them growing in the way that they did and wondered how they harvested them and made them ready for eating. How lovely to be able to eat them freshly cooked in that way.

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    1. It is a fairly labor intensive crop - which explains why they are so expensive, I suppose. They are better when fresh!

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  2. Very interesting and informative Wilma. All I ever see is the final product.

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    1. My favorite aspect to having them grow here is the intoxicating aroma of the flowers in the early morning and late evening.

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  3. Cashew nuts-the world's greatest nut. That is all.

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  4. Oh YuMm! ~ don't suppose you'll be trekking back to MN anytime soon?? Bring your nuts if you do.

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