Is it possible for you to tell me about cashew nuts in their shell? It’s rather humorous, however, since almost everyone is unaware of where their food originates from or even what it looks like before production. Cashew nuts are an excellent example of this scenario, right? Cashew nuts are derived from trees bearing fruit, which the fruit is called “false fruit” that looks like bell pepper. But in reality, this false fruit dangles a “fruit” filled with one single “seed” within, and this is now known as the “cashew nut.”
Just a little history of cashew nuts, Brazillian explorers brought the cashew tree to India in the 16th century, planting it in Goa to avoid coastal erosion. Cashew nut trees are utilized to prevent soil erosion due to their vast root system. The trees’ horizontal branch structure acts as a natural umbrella, sheltering the soil from rain.
From then, it quickly engulfed India’s whole coastline area. After devouring the trees’ fruit, greedy elephants dispersed the seeds throughout the country’s peninsula in their droppings. This was the start of a multi-billion dollar worldwide business.
For its production, because whole nuts sell for more at the market, processing in India has historically been done by hand. Many people are unaware that cashews go through a lengthy processing procedure before reaching the stores.
The hardest part of processing cashew nuts is removing the kidney-shaped nut from its shell, which needs trained laborers – 90% of whom are women and given pitiful pay. When broken open, the CNSL or ‘cashew nutshell liquid’ pours forth. It creates burns and blisters on the skin, posing health hazards to employees.
Next time you open a can of cashews, take a minute to appreciate the lengthy trip those tiny c-shaped “nuts” made to get from the tree to your plate!