Cashews are grown all over the tropics, but some countries produce finer quality nuts than others. Some of finest cashews are those from Vietnam, which are crisp and particularly sweet, while those from Brazil are extra soft with a rich aromatic nutty taste. 

But the exotic taste is not all. The nutritional value of these nuts is truly extraordinary, cashews, for instance, are the only nuts to contain vitamin C. They are also rich in protein and minerals, especially phosphorous, magnesium and calcium. Cashews are an excellent sustaining energy food — scuba divers and mountaineers often eat a handful to boost their energy levels before setting out on a dive or climb. 

Once picked from the trees, great care has to be taken in roasting the nut because of the poisonous oil contained in the shell. In the past shallow pans were used to heat the nuts and there was a danger of acrid fumes spurting out, but nowadays the cashews are roasted in perforated, rotating drums over fires fuelled with the discarded shells. The extraction of the kernel of the nut is also done by hand, a skilled job because cashews tend to be very brittle. After drying for a few hours, the nuts are then placed in sweat chambers to absorb moisture to help them become less frail.

Ground and mixed with cocoa cashews make a delicious chocolate. They can be added to salads and sprinkled over cooked meats. Mixed with raisins or other dried fruit they make a nutritious snack. They are excellent in stir-fried dishes and give bite to spiced curries. Cashew nut butter is delicious and cashew nut cream can add extra taste to any pudding. The cream is made by grinding the kernels to a powder and then blending this with some water and a spoonful of honey in a liquidiser for a couple of minutes.  



Nutrition Information

Typical valuesper 100g  
Energy 2369kJ 
Proteins 18.2g36%*
Carbohydrate 27.1g21%*
    Total Sugars 5.9g 
Total Fat 46.4g 
    Saturated 8.3mg 
    Monounsaturated 25.5mg 
    Polyunsaturated 8.4mg 
Dietary Fibre 3.3g11%*
Sodium Trace  
Vitamin C 0.5mg2%*
Thiamin 0.4mg50%*
Niacin 1mg13%*
Riboflavin 0.1mg9%*
Vitamin B6 0.4mg20%*
Folate 25mcg13%*
Vitamin E 0.9mg9%*
Vit K 34.1mcg52%*
Calcium 37mg7%*
Iron 6.7mg56%*
Magnesium 292mg97%*
Zinc 5.8mg58%*
Manganese 1.7mg85%*
Selenium 19.9mcg36%*
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