The cashew is native to northeastern Brazil. In the mid-to-late 1500s, Portuguese traders and explorers introduced the cashew tree to India and to the east coast of Africa in an area that is now Mozambique. In Africa, the tree was spread along the east coast (today, Kenya and Tanzania) and was later introduced to the continent’s west coast, where it presently grows from Senegal to Nigeria. Portuguese and Spanish traders also introduced the cashew tree to Southeast Asia.
The cashew tree now grows in tropical climates of about thirty countries across the globe within a band approximately 25-30 degrees north and south latitude of the equator. The cashew seed, often simply called a cashew, is widely consumed. It is eaten on its own, used in recipes, or processed into cashew cheese or cashew butter. The shell of the cashew seed yields derivatives that can be used in many applications including lubricants, waterproofing, paints, and arms production, starting in World War II. The cashew apple is a light reddish to yellow fruit, whose pulp can be processed into a sweet, astringent fruit drink or distilled into liquor.
Cashew nuts have a buttery, sweet, and salty taste, an unmistakable shape, and are an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals. They grow on cashew nut trees, which are native to subtropical climates. Raw, unsalted cashews are often used in vegan recipes, as well as in Indian cooking. Many of us eat cashews after they’ve been roasted and salted, which turns them into a delicious snack. Although cashews are one of the lowest-fiber, highest carbohydrate nuts, they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.These include vitamins E, K, and B-6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, all of which are so important for a variety of bodily functions that we can’t go without them. Cashews are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients.
While other nuts, such as almonds, may be higher in protein and fiber, eating nuts like cashews and macadamia in moderation has been linked to promote general health, heart health, and weight maintenance.
Cashew Kernels varieties
Cashew nuts types or cashew Kernels varieties are graded into white/scorched wholes,pieces,splits,butts etc.. depending on the shape,size & colour of the kernel. The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a short, stocky, low-spreading, evergreen tropical tree.The leaves are spirally arranged, leathery textured. It flowers once a year, between the months of November and January. The fruit ripens fully within 2 months. Its English name derives from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree caju iterally meaning “nut that produces itself.
Different kinds of cashew nuts types
- W – 180: is the ‘King of Cashew nuts‘ that are larger in size and very expensive.
- W – 210: are popularly known as ‘Jumbo‘ nuts.
- W – 240: it is an attractive grade which is reasonably priced.
- W – 320: are the most popular among cashew kernels and highest in terms of availability, worldwide.
- W – 450: are the smallest and cheapest white whole kernels and hence the favorite among low priced whole grades.
Scorched wholes are another grade of cashew kernels, which have a slight brown colour due to longer roasting. They have all the other characteristics of white kernels and have the same nutritional qualities. Butts, splits and pieces are priced lower and are ideal for cooking, preparation of sweets and savory snacks.