Did You Ever Wonder Why Cashews Aren’t Sold In Shells?

Most of the time when someone gives me a handful of nuts, it’s in the shell, but have your ever wondered about cashew shells? I guess I never really thought about the nuts…or their shells.

Cashew shells, a cashew still on the fruit.
Cashew shells are unexpected!

Do Cashews Have Shells?

Cashews are one of my favorite nuts, so naturally I just enjoyed them as is, but recently I got curious about cashew shells.

Up until today it never dawned on me that cashews don’t actually have shells. They have a corrosive coating that has to be done carefully as the toxic oils are toxic.

cashew nuts grow on trees - shown here hanging from a tree
Cashews grow on trees in a fruit-like shell.

What Does A Cashew Shell Look Like?

A cashew “shell” or fruit looks more like an apple or pears. It looks like a normal fruit, but you can see the nut at the bottom of the fruit. They also grow in trees. Did you know that?

unshelled cashews - Kids Activities Blog
Unshelled cashews look really weird!

What Do Unshelled Cashews Look Like?

Unshelled cashews are actually dark, like a dark brown color. The nuts we get at the store are never raw. They are usually salted and roasted, because the raw cashew would make us very sick.

Video: Why Are Cashews Never Sold In Shells?

We make cashew butter, even cashew cheese for nachos, so it seems weird that I never wondered why they weren’t in our stockings. Now I know why, and it’s fascinating!

Take a look!

Cashew Apples

While the nut may have toxic oils did you know you could eat a cashew apple? They can be eaten fresh, cooked into a number of dishes like curries, or turned into alcohol or vinegar.

cashew apple hanging on a tree - Kids Activities Blog
Cashew apples grow on trees…

What Do Cashew Apples Taste Like

Cashew apples are ripe when yellow or red. When they are ripe they are said to have a very strong sweet smell and a very strong sweet taste as well. Kind of like the red apples we eat now.

People says they often detect a slight citrus taste as well. Which makes sense because they have a ton of Vitamin C in them.

So am I the only one totally wishing I could try a cashew apple now? I doubt they grow anywhere near where I live, but I’d love to see what one tastes like. Also, I kind of feel a little bad about all those cashews I ate now that I know how they’re shelled!

I had no idea!

Did you?

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Do you have a new appreciation for cashews and the cashew shell?

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