Wednesday, January 20, 2010
As you could have guessed the Cashew nut and the Cashew apple are from the same tree, and as you can see, the nut actually grows from the end of the fruit (making the cashew apple a pseudo fruit).
You may be wondering why the cashew nut is so prevalent yet the fruit is nowhere to be found anywhere! Because this is a perfect example of a fruit that is unavailable to our markets because it cannot be shipped. The skin of the fruit is too fragile for shipping, so we won't see it in any markets anytime soon. "What about at a farmers market?" you ask. Well, it's a tropical tree that begins to decline at about 50 degrees F and will die if temperatures get close to freezing. Trust me, I tried growing a tree once and it didn't even have a chance. Until I get a large greenhouse, I won't be trying it again.
There are also a lot of arguments against shipping foods overseas, however shipping via boat is actually super-efficient and more greenhouse gases and emissions are emitted from delivery trucks going short distances. So really the best solution is to grow your own food in terms of shipping emissions concerns.1
The fruit is described as very juicy and sweet and juice made from the fruit is fairly popular in Brazil. I suppose the juice could be shipped and sold here, but introducing new foods to existing markets is probably very hard. That is, until someone claims it as a "superfruit"
Source: 1 Weber, Christopher & Matthews, Scott (2008) Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States, Environmental Science and Technology 42 (10)