Ahhh sweet, another holiday you can really sink your teeth into -- National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day! That sounds like a good enough reason to celebrate to me. On Friday I got a knock at my door from the UPS man. My friend Gale had sent me some gourmet Vosges Chocolates she got while visiting Las Vegas. This is the same wonderful Gale who sent me the liqueur chocolate covered cherries last Christmas. Included in her package was a box of Bombalinas. These are cashews smothered in dark chocolate with ginger, wasabi and sesame seeds. There were wonderful! I say that past tense because sadly, they didn't last long enough for National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day to come around before I gobbled them up. Thank you so very much, Gale -- you're sweeter than sweet!
If you're like me and have no clue what a cashew looks like growing in the wild, you might be a little surprised by what you see. Cashews grow on evergreen trees that can be 32 feet tall. The trees produce a pear-shaped fruit. The inside is very sweet, juicy and similar to an apple, but the outside is fragile, which makes transporting difficult. The cashew nut grows on the end of this fruit. Cashew trees were native to Brazil, but are now grown in over 30 countries, wherever the climate is warm and humid. One cashew tree produces 200-300 cashews a year. Vietnam, Nigeria, India, and Brazil account for 90% of all cashew exports. Cashews are eaten raw, roasted, salted, or sugared. Since they cost more than other nuts, chocolate covered cashews are generally more expensive and produced by fancier chocolate companies. Below is a picture of the cashew fruit with the nut growing at the bottom. It's definitely not what I expected them to look like.
Happy National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day!