Daily Archives: February 7, 2016
iPhoneOgraphy – 07 Feb 2016 (Day 38/366)
Botanically speaking, cashew are not actually nuts but merely seeds. Culinary uses for cashew seeds are similar to uses for nuts, however, and the seeds are frequently referred to as nuts. Cashews, unlike oily tree nuts, contain starch to about 10% of their weight. This makes them more effective than nuts in thickening water-based dishes such as soups, meat stews, and some Indian milk-based desserts, explaining their use over true nuts in various cuisines.
The shell of the cashew nut is toxic, which is why the nut is never sold in the shell to consumers.
Cashew nuts are commonly used in Indian cuisine, whole for garnishing sweets or curries, or ground into a paste that forms a base of sauces for curries (e.g., korma), or some sweets (e.g., kaju barfi). It is also used in powdered form in the preparation of several Indian sweets and desserts. In Goan cuisine, both roasted and raw kernels are used whole for making curries and sweets.
The cashew nut can also be harvested in its tender form, when the shell has not hardened and is green in color. The shell is soft and can be cut with a knife and the kernel extracted, but it is already corrosive at this stage, so gloves are required. The kernel can be soaked in turmeric water to get rid of the corrosive material before use. Cashew nuts are also used in Thai and Chinese cuisine, generally in whole form.
In the Philippines, cashew is a known product of Antipolo, and is eaten with suman. Pampanga also has a sweet dessert called turrones de Casuy, which is cashew marzipan wrapped in white wafers.
In Indonesia, roasted and salted cashew nut is called kacang mete or kacang mede, while the cashew apple is called jambu monyet (translates in English to monkey rose apple).
In Mozambique, bolo polana is a cake prepared using powdered cashews and mashed potatoes as the main ingredients. This dessert is popular in South Africa, too.
South American countries have developed their own specialties. In Brazil, the cashew fruit juice is popular all across the country. In Panama, the cashew fruit is cooked with water and sugar for a prolonged time to make a sweet, brown, paste-like dessert called dulce de marañón. Marañón is one of the Spanish names for cashew.