Mike and I often complain about the price for cashews, one of our favorite nuts
A cashew is actually the seed of the cashew fruit. It is indeed odd in appearance. You can see in the picture that the seed actually grows outside of the fruit. There is only one seed/nut for each fruit. The fruit is a bit larger than an
While on our bird watching tour, we had spotted a Creole woman sitting at a small table in her yard, with a mallet. She was patiently cracking the outer shells off cashews. We asked, and she generously allowed us to take pictures while she explained the cashew preparation process.
Cleaning and roasting cashews is an involved process. The natural surface of the seed is actually toxic. So it's advisable to wear gloves while cleaning them. Otherwise, you'll most likely end up with blistered skin. The seed is then washed and roasted.
We regularly buy cashews in San Pedro. Local vendors package them up and sell them in a variety of sizes, on the beach. But we tend to cringe at the price. But in Crooked
Back at the lodge, the afternoon before, we had watched a similar process. The lodge owner, Mitch, and his buddy separated the cashews from the fruit and washed them. But they had a different goal in mind... Mitch was in the middle of making cashew wine. We couldn't help but notice the pungent smell of the sweet cashew fruit fermenting.
Now I'll admit that I don't favor sweet wines, but I had to give it a try. Cashew wine is too sweet for my palate. But it would make an interesting aperitif for those who like port or other sweet aperitifs. Or it would be a fun and unusual gift to bring back for Aunt Martha. I'd rather not experience a cashew wine hangover, though.
Unfortunately, we missed the Crooked Tree Cashew Festival. It was held the weekend before we arrived. Our trip had been a last minute diversion. The festival is held each year on the first weekend of May. So if you decide to visit Crooked Tree, you might enjoy coming for the cashew festival.
The weather is usually dry and warm in May. The colorful regional and migrating birds are everywhere to be seen. And the bountiful cashew, flamboyant and frangipani trees are showing off their spring finery - of vivid, vibrantly colored red, pink, and orange blossoms.