Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer snapshots : cashew like it

My cashew trees are now adorned with hundreds of golden fruit and their quirky (but oh so tasty!) nuts dangling outside the fruit.

I'm not too fond of the fruit (or cashew-apples as they're called). It leaves an unpleasant aftertaste and stains like crazy. Some people prefer to eat it with salt but I think the Goans seem to have found the perfect use for it... they make a heady liquor called 'feni' with it.

The nuts of the ripe cashew-apples are sun-dried and stored to be roasted later. But as for the tender green ones... who knows, they may just end up as the parrots' breakfast.
Bon appetit!

21 comments:

  1. Oh, that photograph really brings back memories of childhood. We had been eating cashew-apples and stained the shirts at the same time. The place I grew up is very much sandy, a perfect habitat for cashew trees. Red, orange and yellow were colours to choose from. How we jumped from one branch to another .... Shoots are used as salad over here. Janggus, and Gajus are names, Malaysian give them.

    ~bangchik

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  2. I can just imagine the fun you must've had, Bangchik!The branches ofthe cashew tree must be one of the most easily climbable ones.
    I think cashew trees like soils where not much else likes to grow. My place has clay soil thinly spread over rocks and rocks and even more rocks. Yet these cashew trees were thriving here long before anyone even thought of cultivation here.
    I didnt know about the shoots being used for salads! I must try that.
    The local name for the cashewnut here is pretty close to yours... its called "Kaju" here.

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  3. Yep, the fruit is hard(correct word?) for throat but I like if a small piece is present.
    Anyways, thanks of sharing And memory rewinds once again. Thanks to you. Keep writing and when is cashew nuts party????
    India is a curious place

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  4. Oh! I never knew the cashew fruit was edible! Never tasted it. Guess the parrots in your area find themselves nice, tasty treats...

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  5. Hobo, you'll have to get in line, I think. In my garden, the parrots get first pick on the cashewnuts and the crows take first pick on the ripe fruit. We stand in line like everyone else. Frankly, its not very easy to roast the nuts and shell them. It takes a certain knack which eludes me and I have to wait for someone who knows how to shell the nuts without crumbling it to powder. Easier said than done!

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  6. Oh it is edible, Chandramouli, but it is an acquired taste in my opinion. But many seem to enjoy it and it is famed to be great for digestion according to the local herbalists. In fact, here the fruit with the nut is sold in the markets as a seasonal delicacy.
    The parrots prefer the tender green nuts, actually. It looks like they have refined tastes!

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  7. Wow.. brought back memories of a school trip to a farm .. full of cashew and mango trees!
    We ate the cashew fruit and carried back lots of mangoes :)

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  8. Hello Sunita! I was completely ignorant, having no idea what a cashew plant looked like, let alone that there was a cashew apple from the same tree as well! Thanks for the education!

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  9. I want to call the way cashews form their nuts bizarre, but it seems like everything in nature is bizarre in some way. I'll just call it "unfamiliar" and leave it at that :) You have such interesting things in your garden!

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  10. Thanks, Aaron. I'm sure you must be having a lot of cashew trees in your area too. I know Bangchik told me there are at least a few.

    Priya, did you like the fruit? I know many people really enjoy it but unfortunately, I'm not one of them.

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  11. You're welcome, Heidi! :D
    Isn't the Net fantastic! The things you learn here ... it's almost as good as going to University.

    Shady C, I think it just shows that Nature has a very weird sense of humour!
    Interesting? Your plants and birds are fascinating for me!

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  12. This snapshot brought back so many memories...cashew trees are giving way to rubber in our nook of Kerala.
    The juice of cashew apple is an acquired taste, tending to be an irritant depending on the fruit: but some of them have a tart-sweet quality. Fresh juice is a treat!

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  13. ?, I didn't know there were variations in flavour. Maybe I have the unpleasant ones.
    For some reason, I quite like the atmosphere in rubber plantations ... all those loomng trees makes one feel its almost like a world of its own, cocooned from everything else. True, you cant eat the rubber but those closely planted trees soon invite so much of interesting wildlife.

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  14. Well.. that was probably the only time i ate the cashew apple. It felt unusual..both the texture and the taste. It was tart-sweet and left an unpleasant aftertaste as you've mentioned.

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  15. :-)
    Part of the charm of the green cover that existed was the mix of jackfruit,mango, cashew, arecanut, teak, rosewood, among a rich and diverse that consisted of the crumbling feudal estates until the 'rubber fever' started ( in our part) in the 1990s.
    However nostalgia has no place when economic means prevail...
    and Kerala has always tended towards cash crops.

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  16. The unusual taste usually puts people off trying it a second time, Priya. I dont like it much, either but there are others in my family who thoroughly enjoy it.

    ?, I dont blame the people of Kerala for switching to cash crops. Agriculture is one of Kerala's strong points so why not encash on it (especially when industries have left it high and dry!) But I know what you mean about the nostalgia for times gone by when walking into the backyard was as good as an invitation to a feast!

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  17. How fortunate you are to be able to see the cashew fruit and the peeping-out nut in your garden.
    The very nature of the nut has given rise to the phrase 'munthiri kottai mathiri' (like a cashew nut) in Thamizh, meaning to thrust oneself forward before time, or to be precipitate. Nice picture. How about one of the tree with the fruits?

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  18. Raji, that simile paints such a vivid picture, doesn't it? :DI'll definitely post a picture of the fruit-laden tree a little further on in the season when it starts to look like a summer-time Christmas tree.

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  19. You have a green thumb, you have a way with words, you are a genius. I am glad you led me to your Blog.

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  20. Thanks, Pree, that's really nice of you to say so. You've just made my day! :)

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