Re: [CostaRicaLiving] Nutz : )
- From: mctravel2@...
> Hi all____________________________
> I hear cashew nuts grow in Costa Rica. (Yum)
> Besides buying them at the "Multi Plaza" are there farms to visit
> or "retail outlets" where you can purchase them?
> Thanks Susan
Right on! Cashews are grown in Costa Rica but somewhat more
for the "fruit" than the seed (nut). Locally they are
called "marañon" (mair-an-yone) and most the farms that
produce them are in the drier regions of Guanacaste.
This is produced on a spreading, smallish tree. It looks
like a yellow to red fruit with a green "seed" hanging on
the bottom. Botanically, the "fruit" is actually a fleshy
stem and the green thing hanging on the bottom is a one
seeded fruit. Mostly the "fruit" is sweet, has a very nice
aroma, but an astringent taste that is unpleasant unless
you are used to it. The more rarely available dried fruit
is jet black and delicious.
Do not under any conditions bite into the green thing on
the bottom. Yes it contains the seed which, when roasted,
is the cashew nut of commerce but the outer husk of this
structure also contains a violently poisonous oil,
anacardia oil, which will at least put you in the hospital
if not kill you. The raw nut is also poisonous. Roasting
drives off the poisonous oil but in Costa Rica, the whole
green thing is roasted resulting in a poorer quality cashew
nut. In India and Africa, where most the world's cashews
come from, this husk is removed and then the seed is
roasted, resulting in a much better nut. The oil is also
extracted from the husk and used as a pharmaceutical
product but I'm not sure for what.
One often sees Costa Rican cashews for sale on the streets
of San Jose in long, little celophane tube-like bags. The
better quality cashews are found in supermarkets and such
and are more often Asian. In season the "fruits" are
offered in the stores and farmers' markets. Roadside stands
down in the Pacific lowlands often offer them in little
wooden boxes containing a couple dozen fruit. Hope this
Men come of age at 60, woman at 15. - James Stephens