Cashews, those delightful kidney-shaped nuts, are not only tasty but also packed with essential nutrients. As a leading cashew company, Cajuu, we take immense pride in bringing these delectable treats from the tropical lands to your table. In this blog, we'll walk you through the fascinating journey of cashews, from harvesting on the trees to the meticulous processing that transforms them into the delicious and nutritious snacks we all love.
The cashew tree, scientifically known as Anacardium occidentale, is native to Brazil but is now grown in several tropical regions worldwide. Cashew trees produce cashew apples, which are fleshy, pear-shaped fruits. Each cashew apple contains a single cashew nut at its bottom, attached to a kidney-shaped shell called the cashew nut shell.
The harvesting process begins by carefully picking the cashew apples from the trees. This task demands skill and caution as the outer layer of the cashew apple contains a toxic resin, similar to poison ivy. Cajuu provides protective equipment free of charge to all of our farming partners to avoid any contact with this harmful substance.
Extracting the Cashew Nuts
Once the cashew apples are collected, the next step is to extract the cashew nuts from the shells. This process can be done manually or using specialised machines. First, the outer shell is carefully cracked open, revealing the cashew nut within. The shell is discarded, while the cashew nut undergoes further cleaning to remove any remnants of the toxic resin.
Quick fact about Cajuu:
Africa exports 90% of its shelled cashews to Asia for deshelling which has a huge impact on global emissions. This is where we differ, as we deshell in Tanzania, then ship freight these cashew nuts directly to the UK. This significantly reduces our carbon footprint.
Drying the Cashew Nuts
After extraction, the cashew nuts are sun-dried to reduce their moisture content. This drying process is crucial as it helps prevent the nuts from becoming mouldy during storage and transportation. The cashews are spread out on large drying platforms or mats under the sun until they reach the desired moisture level.
Peeling the Cashew Nuts
Once the cashew nuts are dried, they are ready for the peeling process. Each nut is covered by a thin brown skin, known as the testa or cashew seed coat. This outer skin is removed to reveal the ivory-coloured cashew kernel. The peeling can be done manually or mechanically, with machines designed specifically for this purpose.
Grading and Sorting
After peeling, the cashew kernels are graded and sorted based on their size, colour, and overall quality. Grading ensures that only the finest cashews make it to the market, meeting the high standards set by companies like Cajuu.
Roasting and Seasoning
Roasting is a crucial step in enhancing the taste and texture of cashews. The kernels are roasted at controlled temperatures to bring out their characteristic nutty taste and achieve the desired level of crunchiness. Additionally, some cashews are flavoured with various seasonings, such as salt, spices, or sweet coatings, to cater to different taste preferences.
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Packaging and Distribution
The final step involves packaging the roasted and seasoning cashews into attractive containers, ready for sale and distribution. At Cajuu, we take great care in ensuring our products are packaged in a way that preserves their freshness and quality until they reach our customers' hands.
From humble beginnings as cashew apples on tropical trees, to becoming the cherished snacks enjoyed by people all over the world, the journey of cashews is a remarkable one. We are committed to delivering the highest quality products, and at Cajuu, we take immense pride in every step of this journey. From the careful harvesting and meticulous processing to the delightful roasting and flavouring, we ensure that each cashew that reaches your table is a testament to our passion for excellence.
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Next time you savour the unique taste of cashews, remember the incredible process that brings these delightful nuts from tree to table, making them one of the most beloved and nutritious treats available.