I love Cashew nuts, I can eat at least a handful of them a day, their creamy texture is so moreish. Up until now I have never once thought how cashew nuts are harvested or processed, so when I came across an article detailing the step by step process of cashew nut production I was shocked! I was amazed at the long labour intensive techniques involved in bringing cashew nuts to our table.  This made me realise the reason behind the high price tag of the cashew nuts I love.

Below are some pictures which will hopefully give you an insight into the amount of work that goes into harvesting and getting these nuts ready.

The cashew apple and seed. The seed is removed from the apple. The apple can be juiced or used in preserves.

The cashew apple and seed. The seed is removed from
the apple. The apple can be juiced or used in preserves.

 

The cashew seeds have to be steamed and then dried for 24 hours to make it easier to remove the outer shell.

The cashew seeds have to be steamed and then dried for
24 hours to make it easier to remove the outer shell.

Cashew seeds being cracked individually by hand. The cashews have a toxic substance under the shell similar to poison ivy, therefore workers oil their hands to protect them.

 

Cashew seeds being cracked individually by hand. The cashews have a
toxic substance under the shell similar to poison ivy,
therefore workers oil their hands to protect them.

The outer shell has been cracked open and the kernel is being removed

 

The outer shell has been cracked open and the kernel is being removed

Cashews are dried to reduce the moisture content making it easier for peeling.

 

Cashews are then dried to reduce the moisture content making it easier for peeling.

Finally the kernel is peeled to reveal.....

 

Lastly the kernel is carefully peeled one by one to reveal…..

...the final product! The cashew nuts that we all know.

…the final product! The cashew nuts that we all know and love.

 

So, hopefully these pictures give you a small insight into cashew nut harvesting, and next time you are eating a cashew nut remember all the hard work gone into producing them.. maybe that couple of pounds isn’t so expensive after all!

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