The cashew boom: why is it so expensive?
The cashew tree is native to the Amazon basin in South America and thrives in the tropical climate there. The cashew fruit is a legume that contains a seed with a coating, the cashew apple. The cashew apple is the source of the cashew nut, the kernel of the cashew apple. The cashew tree itself is considered a crop rather than a tree or shrub, as it is grown specifically for its fruit. The cashew tree is also known as the AnacARDO tree or the ANACARDIUM AQUIFOLIUM tree.
Cashew nuts grow wild in the tropical rainforests of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and are also native to India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The cashew tree thrives in the tropical climate of South America and produces fruit once a year. This means that the tree must be pollinated by hand.
Once pollinated, the cashew tree will only produce cashew fruit for one year. In other words, this tree is not self-pollinated and needs another type of pollination to be able to bear fruit.
Why are cashew nuts so expensive?
Cashews are so expensive because the entire process of growing, harvesting and processing is done by hand. People are involved in every step of the process. As a result, labour costs are high and the prices paid to farmers are even higher.
Where are cashew nuts grown?
Brazil is the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts, with an estimated production of around one million tonnes per year. The second largest producer by far is India. Other major producers are Vietnam, Indonesia and Nigeria.
What do cashews taste like?
If you have never eaten cashews, you may be wondering what they taste like. Once you open it with a nutcracker, the cashew nut tastes similar to a peanut. Cashew users agree that the flavour is “earthy” with a “sweet aftertaste.
The extraction process
First of all, the cashew fruit is pollinated by hand. The resulting cashew nut is then ready to be harvested. The whole process, from pollination to extraction, takes three to four months.
What are the different types of cashew nuts?
There are two distinct types of cashew nuts: soft and hard.
Soft cashews are the ones most people are familiar with. They are usually used in snacks and desserts. They are also used in some popular drinks, including cashew water, which is a popular refreshing drink in India.
Hard cashews are a type of nut and are more nutritious than soft cashews. They are also sold in a more compressed form and have a thicker texture.
In addition to these two types, cashews can also be classified according to their use. White and brown cashews are mainly used in cooking, while yellow and red cashews are used in drinks. Cashew nuts play a role in weight loss, especially when consumed in liquid form. Cashew nuts are part of a list of nuts whose properties provide many benefits.