Today we're talking about the infamous cashew nut! ‘Caju’ literally translates to 'cashew' and we wanted to spend today explaining all the glorious wonders of this curvy snack, as well as the steps getting it from plant to product.
We'll start first with a breakdown of the plant from which it grows.
When looking at how the cashew grows, you'll see the shell that contains the cashew grows from an apple, the cashew apple. This apple isn't like the regular apple you can pick up from the local supermarket. Usually orange or red, it has an astringent, sweet jackfruit-like flavour that combines a combination of tropical fruits and a hint of bell pepper, and is more stringy and juice in texture.
The tree it grows from is actually a member of the poison ivy plant family, but what about the seemingly harmless cashew tree could be harmful?
The shell that grows from it contains the toxic oil urushiol inside. Coming into contact with urushiol can cause itching, blisters, and skin rashes.
Something that separates Cajuu from other cashew nut brands is that we provide essential safety equipment to our farmers to keep them safe from this acidic oil. There are constantly reports of other suppliers and brands encountering injuries on site due to a lack of gear such as gloves, tools and basic protective clothing.
Cashews have massive health benefits too! They’re low in sugar and rich in fibre, heart-healthy fats, and plant protein. They're also a good source of copper, magnesium, and manganese — nutrients important for energy production, brain health, immunity, and bone health.
They are one of the most expensive nuts because of the lengthy process needed to extract and process them. As cashews are quite brittle, factories used to do this step manually to ensure machines wouldn't break the nuts. We have tools that keep our farmers safe and avoid breaking the nut during the processing, allowing us to extract the largest size cashews in one piece, without harming anyone.
There is ofcourse a cost to ensure safety and ethics are adhered to, and to ensure our farming partners are not harmed or exploited in the process of getting the cashews to you and is one of our core attributes as a brand.
We hope to bring you more information about cashews in the near future so you can learn more about this wonderful nut :)