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1. Cashew trees originated in Brazil, but are now cultivated in many countries across the world. Top exporters include Nigeria, India, Ivory Coast, Vietnam and Indonesia.
2. Cashews are a seed, not a nut.
3. The cashew seed is double-wrapped in a toxic, kidney shaped shell that protrudes from a pseudo-fruit known as a cashew apple.
4. The reddish, pear-shaped cashew apple is an edible sweet fruit. It is too delicate for transport and thus cannot be found in markets. Its refreshing juice, known as suco de caju , is popular in Brazil.
5. In order to remove the toxic wrapper, cashews are roasted outdoors before being brought to market. These are the “raw cashews” you can buy in bulk. They may be roasted again like other nuts and seeds to enhance their flavor.
6. An ounce of cashews is 150 calories, but will keep you satiated longer than a processed-carb snack of equal calories. Cashews are a good source of healthy fats and protein, with 5 grams of protein per one ounce serving and 9 grams of unsaturated fats.
7. Cashew shell oil, derived from the toxic cashew wrapper, has unique chemical properties and is being evaluated for various industrial uses such as brake fluid.