Posts Tagged ‘cashew’

Cashew – A Fruit

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I’ll bet you didn’t know the cashew is a fruit. Am I right? If you didn’t grow up in cashew country, how would you know? Most people think that the nut itself grows on trees. Few know that it is actually attached to a fruit and that the fruit is utilized as well.

So that is one kind of cashew which is red. My grandmother had a grove and as children, we called it ‘secret grove’ because we weren’t allowed anywhere near the grove. You can guess why right? Snakes, they told us. The fear of snakes kept us from doing all sorts of exploring for excitement or so the elders thought. Still, I’m not sure where the fruit grove is and it can remain a mystery for all I care. What matters is that we all got to enjoy the abundance that the fruit grove produced.

So, it was nothing unusual to see Mae and Santan shucking cashew nuts from their fruit. The fruit all went into a big crock so that feni could be made from it. Wait, I’ll talk about the feni later. First, let’s talk about the nut. The kernel is quite soft and can be split with a knife if you want to leave the nut raw. For roasting, the whole kernel is roasted and the outer covering removed to expose the crispy roasted nut.

cashew in bowl_Daniel Panev_post.jpg

While we enjoyed the roasted nuts as a snack, sometimes the raw ones were ground and used in recipes for both sweets and also in savoury dishes.

Now, I’ve never made feni but I certainly have sipped on this exotic and exhilarating drink. I’m sure at times, I hallucinated on it because I….. never mind. As if I would know what it means to hallucinate – cough, cough! Anyway, all I can say is that feni, also known as Cajel is quite the drink and would put Tequila to shame. Everyone has to try cashew feni at least once. By the way, feni can be made from coconut as well. Cashew feni has an exquisite flavour. All this talk of feni is making me wish I had some. Yeah right! Where would I find feni on the west coast of Canada? Dream on Bardezgirl!

I found this link and apparently they will mail a bottle of this feni for the price of $49.00 plus shipping. Now, I have to figure out whether it’s worth it to me to pay this or whether I should just wait until my next trip to India when i can buy some for a lot cheaper! Hmmmm….

Don’t you just love the sight of these incredible fruit? Incidentally, they possess a high content of oxalic acid in them which, if you eat too much, makes your throat pucker up! So, caution my friends. Eat a small quantity in one sitting or else, just enjoy the fruit or better still, sit in the shade of a banyan tree in your grandmother’s back garden and sip on the exotic alcoholic derivation known as Feni!