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Video: Eating a Cashew Fruit

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Have you ever wondered what a cashew looks like straight from the tree? The farm where I'm staying in India has dozens of cashew trees growing (they're harvested for good money).

One day, while exploring the farm, a cashew fruit dropped from a tree and almost hit me on the head (maybe if it actually hit me I would have discovered a universal law).

I thought since the owner of the farm had showed me how to "eat" the fruit, I would record a short clip to show you how that's done. Plus, if you've never seen where cashews come from (I hadn't before coming to the farm), you might find this quite interesting.

While the cashew nut is encased within a shell, the fruit itself is eatable. Between the shell and the cashew nut lies a black nasty chemical substance that can cause hives (and worse).

I learned just how bad this stuff was after filming this video. According to Wikipedia, "The seed is surrounded by a double shell containing an allergenic phenolic resin, anacardic acid, a potent skin irritant chemically related to the more well known allergenic oil urushiol which is also a toxin found in the related poison ivy."

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14 Comments

  1. Wow interesting. I never knew they were part of a fruit and that they looked like that. It’s kind of funny looking.

    • They are funny looking! I also had no idea they looked like that and I’ve been eating cashews my entire life! (Actually, I hated them as a kid, but at some point I started to love’em!)

      Thanks for the comment, Linda! 🙂

  2. That is pretty funky. It seems like a whole lot of extra stuff to get one little nut out of it. Do they use the black stuff or the fruit for anything, or is that all just waste product?

    What kind of camera is that? The film quality is exceptional, or the lighting was just right.

    • Hey James, thanks for the comment!

      It is indeed a ton of work! I’ve been eating cashews my entire life and only now do I appreciate just how much work goes into extracting a single nut. I’m fairly certain they don’t use the black stuff for anything, however in Brazil they make a juice out of the fruit. I haven’t seen any such juice here in India though.

      The camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 (affiliate link). It shoots 12 megapixel photos and records 720p HD video. It’s an incredible piece of technology for its size and weight and I absolutely love it. 🙂

    • Interesting. The juice didn’t seem concentrated enough to stain anything — it reminded me a lot of peach juice.

      There are a bunch of rubber tree farms on my walk to the main road. They’ve got little cups on them for tapping the rubber. 🙂

    • Hey Raf,

      The camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 (affiliate link). It shoots 12 megapixel photos and records 720p HD video. It’s really an awesome camera and I don’t think I’d want to take anything else with me on a trip around the world. 🙂

  3. A few years back, I won a dare contest by chewing a cashew. The nut is toxic and very bitter. I had to constantly drank water and spit my saliva every few minutes to get rid of the toxin. That bitterness lasted through out the day…

    There is a plant in Cambodia whose leaves close when it is touched. I am sure India has this plant as well. You probably saw it when you visited Hawaii.

    Provided is a youtube link to see the plant in action

    • Wow, chewing the cashew without removing the black toxin?! You’re brave, Sarith! 😀

      The plant you describe sounds a lot like the venus fly trap, but the YouTube video makes it obvious it’s something different! I’ve never seen that before!

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂