(anacardiaceae) Anacardium occidentale CASHEW, CASHEW NUT, CASHEW APPLE, CAJU. This popular nut is caustic and can badly irritate the mouth if bitten, and the skin. After it is roasted it is safe. Roasting must be done outdoors because the fumes irritates as well, and can damage the lungs. Care must be taken in the roasting process because if burned by the hot seeds, you can be scarred for life. The actual fruit is the nut; the apple (which we call the fruit) is a swollen stem, a pseudocarp or false fruit, which can be eaten fresh or made into stewed cashew, a Belizean sweet. Cashew nuts are a popular snack and is used in Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine. The bark and nuts (which are the seeds) are used medicinally. Cashew are fast growing and will fruit 2 years after planting, even if in a large container. It tolerates very poor soil, drought and salt air.
Closeup of CASHEW fruit.