April 21 is National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day
Interesting Food Facts about Cashews
- Pistachio, mango, cashew and poison ivy are in the same family.
- Cashews are native to Costa Rica and Central America. The fresh cashew nut has a substance inside that produce a big burn and rash in skin and mouth, at the same time this is a highly valuable product known as Cashew Nut Shell Liquid or CNSL, ingredient that have special structural features for transformation into specialty chemicals and high value polymers, this is important considering the fact that, since this is a renewable resource, is better than synthetics.
- One thing is the cashew nut and a different thing is the cashew apple, this last one is a kind of fruit to which it’s attached the nut, this fleshy fruit has an aroma some people love while others dislike, the most common way of preparation of this fruit is doing a tasteful juice mixed with water and sugar.
- Cashews in Costa Rica are harvested during March and April.
- A quite interesting experience is to burn in wood fire a raw cashew nut, this CNSL is highly flammable and while it burns produces impressive tiny explosions. Kids shouldn’t try this without parent’s supervision. Gases and fumes can also irritate, so this experiment should be done in open spaces.
India is the world’s largest producer of cashews, with Brazil second and Africa a distant third.
While high in fat, cashews actually contain less fat than other mass-produced nuts, such as almond and walnuts, and the amount of dietary fiber contained make them a good food for weight loss when eaten in moderation.
Cashews have a high fat content, which means that if they are left at room temperature, they won’t stay fresh for long.
Today’s Food History
- 1838 John Muir was born. Muir was a naturalist who was largely responsible for the establishment of Sequoia and Yosemite national parks in California in 1890.
- 1878 The White House hosted the first Easter Egg Roll. Previously, the activities had been held on the Capitol grounds. Congress passed a law banning the practice due to a limited maintenance and landscaping budget (Bah humbug!). President Rutherford B. Hayes was asked if children could hold the activities on the South Lawn of the White House and he enthusiastically agreed. The event has been held there ever since.
- 1910 R.I.P. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain. American author, pen name Mark Twain, who wrote ‘Tom Sawyer’, ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,’ etc. There are many quotes and descriptions about food and dining in his works (and on FoodReference.com). An example is: “A man accustomed to American food and American domestic cookery would not starve to death suddenly in Europe, but I think he would gradually waste away, and eventually die.” (From ‘A Tramp Abroad’).
- 1962 The Top Of The Needle restaurant in the Seattle, Washington Space Needle, was officially opened. It was the second revolving restaurant in the U.S. It seats 260 and rotates completely once every hour. (The world’s first revolving restaurant was the La Ronde Restaurant built in 1961 atop the Ala Moana building fronting the Ala Moana shopping center. The restaurant has since closed down.)
- 1963 The Beatles and the Rolling Stones met for the first time at the Crawdaddy Club.