How Locals of the Rupununi Shell and Roast Cashew Nuts

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First Published: 17th of December, 2017. Region 9, Guyana, South America.

Last updated: May 1, 2021 at 1:20 am

Cashew nuts are a rich and nutrition food product derived from the cashew trees. Through a labor-intensive process, the cashew nut is detached from the cashew fruit which comes from the cashew tree. Cashew trees grow abundantly in the Rupununi Savannahs of Guyana, and also in neighboring Brazil.

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.

Raw Cashew Nuts – This is what the raw cashew nuts looks like after they are detached from the cashew fruit.

The raw cashew nuts are placed in a metal drum over a fire.

The raw cashew nuts in a metal drum over a fire.
A stick is used to stir the nuts about in the drum
A little girl plays nearby as her mother uses a stick to stir the nuts in the drum.
After about 5 minutes, the nuts catch ablaze in the drum due to their oil content.
The stirring of the nuts continues even through the blaze.
After about 9 minutes of roasting, the drum is overturned and all the nuts fall onto the ground. Water is then used to put out the fire from the nuts.
After about 9 minutes of parching over the fire, the nuts have been roasted black.
A stick is then used to crack the roasted nuts, and it is removed from the shell and placed into a container.
And there you have it – Beautiful Raw Cashew Nuts.
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