the fruit of a tropical tree, Anacadium occidentale, native to America, usually sold shelled and salted.The cashew grows as a single, hard protuberance beneath a fleshy, apple-like fruit. Both the soft covering and the kernel are edible, but there is a toxic oil in the nut's shell that can be destroyed by roasting before eating. Kaju is a liquor made from the fruit. While the cashew is used as a savory ingredients in Asian and North African cooking and in dessert, it is often served with cocktails. Caju is Portuguese for Cashew.
The Nutrional Health Facts of CashewsBy Kate Meyers
Cashew nuts, a richly sweet product of the cashew tree, have gained popularity in North America and Europe not only for their succulent flavor but for health benefits, too. Whether roasted, salted, sugared or covered in chocolate, the cashew nut, often used as a flavorful complement to appetizers, main dishes and deserts, packs a mix of nutrients and minerals not found in many common foods.
Cashew nuts, native to equatorial South America, are actually seeds, found growing on the end of the cashew apple, an edible and nutrient rich South American treat that is too fragile to export to North America or Europe .
Also known by the botanical name Anacardium occidentale, the cashew is a close relative of mangos, pistachios, poison ivy and poison oak. It was first introduced on a worldwide scale by Portuguese explorers in South America in the 16 th century, but international trade didn't take off until the 1920s.
Sometimes called “nature's vitamin pill,” cashew nuts, which now rank #1 among nut crops in the world with 4.1 billion pounds produced in 2002 , have been used to promote wellness for centuries.
The cashew tree's leaves and bark as well as the popular cashew apple possess herbal health benefits that include killing bacteria and germs, stopping diarrhea, drying secretions, increasing the libido, and reducing fever, blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature, but unfortunately the byproducts of these parts of the cashew tree are not available in North America and Europe, mainly due to their highly perishable qualities.
The cashew nut, a popular treat found on grocery and health food store shelves across the world, is jam-packed with nutritional content. It packs 5 grams of protein per ounce and high levels of the essential minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese, which are utilized in holistic health solutions and healthy diets.