First Published: 17th of December, 2017 by Patrick Carpen
The cashew nut is a rich and nutritious food product derived from the cashew tree. In the dry and desolate Rupununi Savannahs of Guyana, farseeing nature has sealed these high energy packets for those times when humans might have consumed the more easily accessible food. The cashew tree is a hardy perennial plant. It can survive the long dry seasons and grow well in the hard, dry soil of the Savannahs. Further, the cashew tree flourishes even with very little care and maintenance.
The cashew nut is a high protein delicacy, but preparing it for consumption is no easy task. Through a labor-intensive process, the nut is removed from its shell and made available for human consumption. In the year 2017, I visited some residents of the Rupununi Savannahs to learn how the cashew nut is roasted and shelled to produce edible roasted cashew nuts.
The process is described below.
Please note: The method described below is what is used by local residents of the Rupununi in roasting and shelling cashew nuts for personal consumption. Commercial organizations might have different and more refined methods for roasting and shelling cashew nuts.
The raw cashew nuts are placed in a metal drum over a fire.
At this point, the cashew nuts may be eaten or further coated with honey and baked to produce a more palatable product.