A favorite snacking and party nut is recognized each year on November 23rd during National Cashew Day.
The cashew nut is a seed harvested from the cashew tree. The tree originated in Northeastern Brazil. However, it is now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew apples and nuts.
With leathery leaves arranged spirally, the evergreen cashew tree grows as tall as 32 feet high and often has an irregularly shaped trunk. The flowers are small, starting out pale green then turning reddish, with each one having five slender, acute petals.
The largest cashew tree in the world covers about 81,000 sq. ft. and is located in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
- The cashew tree has a fruit called the “cashew apple.” Its fragile skin makes it unsuitable for transport.
- Latin Americans make a fruit drink from the cashew apple.
- The Cashew causes fewer allergic reactions than other nuts or peanuts.
- Although native to northeast Brazil, the Portuguese took the cashew plant to Goa, India, between 1560 and 1565. From Goa, it spread throughout Southeast Asia and, eventually, Africa.
- We often see peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and other nuts sold in the shell. Due to the toxic nature of the cashew nut’s shell, this is not possible.
- Speaking of the shell, the Cashew is not a true nut. They do not develop a hard wall around the seed as hazelnuts or walnuts do. Cashews instead have a lining around the seed that is filled with a caustic fluid.
- This nut is an excellent source of antioxidants.
- It’s also a source of dietary trace minerals: copper, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous.
- Cashew oil is a dark yellow oil for cooking or salad dressing pressed from cashew nuts.
- Many parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes.
There are so many ways to enjoy this fabulous nut. How will you be celebrating?
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCashewDay
Cashews inspire several ways to celebrate. You can begin by breaking out the cookbook. Whether you make cookies, bars or another baked good, you won’t go wrong. You can also top your salads and soups with cashews. But that’s only the beginning. May we suggest these other ideas to help you celebrate the day?
- Bundle up cashews to give as gifts for the holidays. Friends and family will thank you.
- Top your pasta dishes with chopped cashews. They will add texture and crunch to your meal.
- Roast cashews with a variety of seasonings. You can make them savory or sweet, whichever you prefer.
- Add chopped cashews to your ice cream sundae. Drizzle a little caramel on top and you will think you’re dreaming.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy cashews? Use #NationalCashewDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CASHEW DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this snack food holiday.
Q. How long do cashew trees live?
A. On average, a cashew tree can live up to 60 years, but some live even longer. According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest cashew tree is estimated to be over 100 years old.
Q. How many years does it take for cashew trees to reach maturity and begin producing nuts?
A. A cashew tree begins producing around three years after its planted, but peak, harvestable production may take up to 8 years.
Q. Can you make milk from cashews?
A. Those with lactose intolerance, milk allergies, or are vegetarian or vegan rely on nut milk for nutrition. Some people prefer the flavor, too. Cashew milk is another option to add to the growing list of available nut and grain milks out there. You can even make it at home.
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November 23rd Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) History
Louis Glass and William S. Arnold install the first jukebox in the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco, CA. The Edison Class M Electric Phonograph with an oak cabinet included a coin-operated mechanism.
The U.S. Patent Office granted patent No. 594,114 to John Lee Love of Fall River, MA, for the invention of a portable pencil sharpener.
President Warren G. Harding signs the Willis-Campbell Act restricting physicians from prescribing beer or liquor to their patients, further restricting the means by which people could obtain alcohol early in the Prohibition Era.
The first-ever episode of the Doctor Who series airs on the BBC. William Hartnell played the Doctor in “An Unearthly Child,” and it was directed by Waris Hussein.
IBM releases Simon, a personal digital assistant. The device, with its touch screen and interface, is considered the first smartphone.
November 23rd Celebrated (And Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Donald Deskey – 1894
The graphic and industrial designer launched the design firm Donald Deskey Associates in the mid-1940s. His art deco designs won him the design competition for Radio City Music Hall’s interiors. He also created several designs for products such as Crest, Tide, and Clorox.
Rachel Fuller Brown – 1898
In 1948, the chemist collaborated with microbiologist Elizabeth Lee Hazen on the antibiotic nystatin. In 1975, the American Institute of Chemists honored both women with the Chemical Pioneer Award.
Vera Simons – 1920
In 1949, Vera and her husband Otto founded Winzen Research, Inc. During her career, she perfected balloon construction and obtained several patents. Simons also organized several balloon projects around the world.
Betty Everett – 1939
The 1960s soul singer gained popularity with her hit single “Shoop Shoop Song” from 1963. Another popular hit for Everett was a duet with Jerry Butler, “Let It Be Me.”
Rick Bayless – 1953
The award-winning chef is known for his Mexican cuisine and is the owner of several restaurants. He hosted a PBS series in 1978-1979 and is the founder of the Frontera Farmer Foundation.