Cashew nuts are a popular snack enjoyed by people all over the world. Not only are they delicious, but they also come with a host of health benefits. Cashew nuts are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to desserts. When it comes to buying cashew nuts, you have the option of purchasing them in their unshelled or shelled form. In this article, we will explore the price of unshelled cashew nuts, their features, and how they are made.
The price of unshelled cashew nuts can vary depending on various factors. These include the size and quality of the nuts, the country of origin, and the retailer selling them. On average, you can expect to pay around $6 to $12 per pound for unshelled cashew nuts. However, bear in mind that this is just an estimate, and the price can fluctuate depending on the market conditions and the season. Additionally, specialty or organic cashew nuts are likely to be priced higher than regular ones. It is essential to compare prices and source the nuts from a reputable supplier to ensure you get the best value for money.
Features of Unshelled Cashew Nuts
Now, let’s discuss the features of unshelled cashew nuts. When you purchase unshelled cashews, you will notice that they come in a thick, outer shell. These shells are hard and protect the delicate cashew nut inside. The outer shell is usually green or brown in color and can sometimes be sticky due to the presence of a natural resin called cashew balm.
One of the primary advantages of buying unshelled cashew nuts is that they have a longer shelf life compared to shelled cashew nuts. The presence of the protective shell means that the nuts are less vulnerable to moisture and air, increasing their longevity. This can be particularly beneficial if you plan to store the cashews for an extended period or if you wish to use them in your cooking in the future.
Another significant feature of unshelled cashews is that they are relatively easy to shell at home, allowing you to enjoy the satisfaction of cracking open the nuts yourself. It can be a fun and rewarding activity, especially if you involve children in the process. However, if you prefer the convenience of pre-shelled cashews, they are readily available in most grocery stores and online retailers.
How to Make Unshelled Cashew Nuts
So, how are the unshelled cashew nuts made? The process of preparing unshelled cashew nuts involves several steps. It begins with the cultivation of cashew trees, which are predominantly found in tropical regions such as India, Vietnam, and Brazil. The cashew tree produces fruits called cashew apples, and each apple carries a single cashew nut.
Once the cashew apples are harvested, they are carefully sun-dried or roasted to remove any moisture. This process ensures that the cashews inside the apples are fully mature and ready for consumption. After drying, the cashew apples are carefully split open, revealing the cashew nut inside.
However, it is essential to note that prior to consumption, unshelled cashews undergo an additional step called roasting. This process is critical as it eliminates any harmful toxins present in the shells. Raw cashew shells contain a toxic substance called urushiol, which can cause skin irritation and other allergic reactions. Roasting the cashews helps to neutralize the toxin, making them safe for consumption.
In conclusion, unshelled cashew nuts are a versatile and healthy snack option that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. They offer a longer shelf life compared to shelled cashews and can be easily shelled at home. When purchasing unshelled cashew nuts, it is essential to consider factors such as price, quality, and size to ensure you are getting the best value for money. Whether you choose to enjoy them as a snack or use them in your culinary creations, unshelled cashews are a delicious and nutritious addition to any pantry.