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Sunday, 26 January 2014


Cashews are not nuts (according to botanical definition, they are a mixture of seeds and legumes). They are a close relative of mangos, pistachios, poison ivy and poison oak.

Originally native to northeastern Brazil, the cashew tree is now widely grown in tropical regions. Vietnam is the world's leading exporter, followed by Nigeria and India.

Most cashew trees start bearing fruit in the third or fourth year, and are likely to reach their mature yield by the seventh year if conditions are favorable.

The largest cashew tree in the world was planted by a fisherman in Brazil. It covers an area of around 8,400 square metres (2.0 acres) and is the size of 70 normally sized cashew trees.  It financially supports upwards of 1500 people.

The tree gets its size from two genetic issues, which allow branches to grow outwards instead of upwards, taking new roots when touching the ground.

Cashews are always sold without their shells because the shell contains an oil that can cause a rash similar to poison ivy.

Cashews are hard to harvest because their shells are poisonous to the touch.

The shell of the cashew nut yields derivatives that can be used in many applications from lubricants to paints.


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