Raw cashew (known as RCN, cashew in shell, cashew in shell or cashew nuts) is the name of the cashew nut. Although a cashew tree contains 90% of the fruit, only 10% is a raw cashew. A single raw cashew has 30% cashew nuts and 70% cashew shell. The cashew (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree native to South America of the genus Anacardium that produces the cashew seed and the accessory fruit of the cashew nut.
The tree can grow to 14 meters (46 ft), but dwarf cultivars, which grow to 6 m (20 ft), are more profitable, with earlier maturity and higher yields. Cashew seed is commonly considered a snack (cashew) that is eaten alone, used in recipes, or processed into cashew cheese or cashew butter. Like the tree, the nut is often simply called cashew. Cashew nut allergies are caused by proteins found in nuts, and cooking usually doesn't eliminate or change these proteins.
I put the fruit in quotes because the colorful red or yellow bulbs on each cashew tree (the true seed of the tree) are botanically known as accessory fruit, pseudofruit or false fruit. It's not a real fruit at all. This is because, unlike an apple or a pear, it does not contain seeds. Even so, it is commonly called cashew in English and can be eaten raw.
It is often used to make juice in Brazil, known as cashew juice. The cashew nut, cachou or Bombay nut is the seed of the cashew tree, also known as anacardium occidentale. The tree is native to Brazil, but harvest and production have expanded to Asia and, more recently, to Africa. Its delicacy has long been appreciated by Brazilians, who eat both the nut and the fruit, which, as can be seen in the image above and in the painting below, hangs over the cashew tree wrapped in a box.
The true fruit of the cashew tree is a drupe shaped like a kidney or a boxing glove that grows at the end of the cashew tree. Cashew nuts are native to Brazil but were exported to India in the 1550s and are now considered a traditional part of Indian cuisine. The culinary uses of cashew seeds for chopping and cooking are similar to those of all tree seeds called walnuts. Cashew nuts sold roasted are cooked twice, once during the peeling process, and then roasted to deepen the color and enhance the flavor, sometimes with salt.
Commercial producers grow cashew nuts in hot, humid climates around the world; Vietnam, Nigeria, India, Brazil and Indonesia are among the top producers. Cashew oil is a dark yellow oil derived from pressing cashew nuts (usually from broken pieces of lower value that are accidentally created during processing) and is used in cooking or as a dressing for salads. The world's largest cashew tree covers an area of around 7,500 m2 (81,000 square feet) and is located in Natal, Brazil. After a heat treatment, it is necessary to remove the outer layer and break the inner hard shell before finding the delicious and creamy interior of cashew nuts.
When shopping in bulk containers, make sure that the cashew nuts are covered and that the store has a good turnover of products to maintain freshness. So, even if you buy cashew nuts that say they are raw on the packaging, which makes for delicious milk, by the way, if you like nut milks, they have been heated enough to be safe. Cashew nuts are commonly used in South Asian cuisine, whole to garnish candies or curries, or are ground into a paste that forms the basis of curry sauces (for example, cashew nuts at the beginning of the season tend to have higher prices, thanks in part to their more uniform color appearance and higher nutritional quality). The most recent breeds, such as dwarf cashew trees, are up to 6 m tall and start producing after the first year, with economic returns after three years.
A woman uses a cashew nut peeling machine in Thailand and wears gloves to protect against contact dermatitis. .