Here’s the fourth episode of the cashew story. The first one, It’s cashew time, is here. The second one, Profession: cashew opener, is here. And the third one, Let’s eat cashew apples, is here. Today, for those who liked my stories about acid, I’ll show a video of cashew nuts heating on charcoal. Be careful, they’re explosive.
Irene, a young woman I met at the market the other day, as she was eating cashew apples, told me some great cashew stories. As a kid, she used to pick the nuts in Sablayan, Mindoro, and bring them home to the kitchen. There, she would put the whole nuts in the fire. “It goes psssshhhhh…”, she says.
When the shells turn completely black, she would throw some sand on the fire to stop it, then remove the cashew nuts and open them on the ground, with a rock.
The cashew bombs experience in images
Of course, as soon as I got to the village, I had to try. You can see a picture of what happens to the nuts at the beginning of this article, showing the different steps of the cashew burning. On the nuts that are open, you can clearly see the honeycomb structure of the outer shell. That’s where the acid is, and you can see and hear it come out as you grill the nuts.
Under this first shell, there is the second one, thiner, and under, the nut itself. When I started extracting it, it was still transluscent, because still full if water, which makes it very fragile. It will need to dry for one week in the sun to be roasted or fried, or used to prepare cashew brittle.
But let’s focus on the cashew nuts on burning charcoal, because that’s without any doubt the greatest part. The nuts explode litterally. You can see it in the video. A first blast at 5″, a second one at 15″, with acid coming out. The smoke made by the burning cashews is full of acid, the smell is bitter, it’s suffocating though I’m doing this outside.
I’ll stop with the cashews for the coming weeks, but if I’m lucky I should be able, a bit later, to write about the publika, which is cashew alcohol, and about cashew brittle. So see you soon for new adventures, far from the trees and close to the underwater reefs.