Cashew trees are attractive trees with large leaves and pretty, pink flowers. Cashews, as you know them, are nuts. But the cashew nut is not the only fruit of the cashew trees. The other part is called the cashew apple.
The cashew apple looks very attractive with its red cheeks. It s high in Vitamin C, refreshing, very juicy, but a bit acidic. And it leaves a furry feeling in your mouth...
The cashew nut is inside the funny looking, kidney shaped shell that is attached to the bottom of the cashew apple. Also inside that shell is a very nasty, caustic liquid that causes severe burns, so be careful when handling it. More on processing and shelling cashews later.Common name:
Cajueiro, cashew, cashu, casho, acajuiba, caju, acajou, acaju, acajaiba, alcayoiba, anacarde, anacardier, anacardo, cacajuil, cajou, gajus, jocote maranon, maranon, merey, noix d’acajou, pomme cajou, pomme, jambu, jambu golok, jambu mete, jambu monyet, jambu terong Height:
10–12 m (32 ft) tallDifficulty level:
EasyPlanting & Care
It is a fast growing and strong tree that will tolerate dry conditions once it is established. It is best grown in well drained sandy or sandy loam soils. They will not tolerate poorly drained soils and can be prone to damaged from strong winds.Sunlight:
Cashews grow best in sandy soils, but sandy soils don t hold much water and are generally not very fertile. The trees will still do fine without additional attention.Water:
However, if a good crop is important to you then you need to supply your cashew trees with additional water and fertilizer. Irrigate during dry periods.Temprature:
Day temperatures for growing cashews should not drop below 10°C (50 F), and cashew trees handle temperatures above 40°C (105 F) well. An average day temperature of around 25°C (77 F) is ideal.Fertilizer:
Fertilize the trees when they actively grow, as well as during flowering and nut development.Care:
- Fresh seeds germinate readily, so if you know of a cashew tree in your area, or have another way of getting hold of fresh seeds, you can grow cashew trees from seed.
- Some fruit tree nurseries stock seedling or grafted trees.
- If you want to grow your cashew trees from seeds you can start them in pots or put them straight in the ground.
- Keep them moist and they should sprout within four or five days.
- Select a well drained spot (cashew trees don t like wet feet or heavy clay soils), preferably a place that has some protection from strong winds.
- Mature trees need about 10 metres distance between them, and they grow to 12 metres tall.
Cashew trees flower and set fruit during the dry season (winter), and you should be able to pick them within a couple of months. If you don t have birds dictating your harvest times use these signs: the apple has a nice pink or red colour (some are yellow) and the shell of the nut turns a dull grey. When the fruit falls to the ground it s definitely ready. Separate the cashew apple from the nut, and enjoy the apple. Luckily the nuts keep very well inside their shells. You can store them for two years so you don t have to process every batch you pick. Keep them somewhere cool and dry until you have enough to justify the effort of processing them.UseCulinary use:
- Cashew is a seed, however, in culinary world it is popularly added to cashew recipes as a nut.
- It is a well-liked snack in roasted as well as in fried forms.
- Slightly salted or sweet cashews are quite popular and are eaten independently.
Cashews are popularly eaten as a sweet chocolate covered snack also.
In vegan cooking, cashew has a great importance.
- Milk is extracted from the nut to be used in making vegan cashew recipes.
- Nut is also fondly used as a whole or in chopped form in many confectionery items such as cakes, cookies and muffins.
Various savoury dishes include cashew paste to make the gravy rich and creamy.
- Soups and stews also use the paste to make the liquid thick.
- The cashew paste is also commonly used to make vegan cheese.
Cashew sweets and desserts are widely made in various cuisines.
- For garnishing purposes also, chopped or shaved cashew is an ideal nut.
One more very popular use of cashew nut and cashew apple is to make alcoholic drinks.
- The juice of cashew fruit is extracted and kept for fermenting for few days.
- After fermenting and distillation, cashew alcohol is ready to drink.