What is this?
The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree, producing the cashew seed and the cashew apple. It can grow up to 14m (46 feet), but its younger brother, the dwarf cashew, growing up to 6m (20 feet), is considered to be more prolific, as it matures earlier and give higher yields.
The cashew seed, or just a cashew, is a very popular product. It is eaten on its own, used in recipes, butter and cheese are also made from it. Sweet, astringent fruit drink is made from the pulp of the cashew apple. In Goa they make a strong alcoholic drink called feni from cashew apple juice.
The shell of the cashew seed yields derivatives that can be used in many applications from lubricants to paints.
Native to Brazil, nowadays cashew is cultivated in India, Vietnam and Nigeria. These countries produce the biggest amount of this product in the world.