Recently, she bought eight pieces cashew. I never asked for the cost. All I knew was I ate all of them. I ate all the cashew apples and stored the seeds. It contain the very expensive cashew nuts.
Speaking of the expensive cashew nuts. We used to broil them when we were young. However, broiling is a very hard thing to do. Literally, broiling is easy. We set several woods on fire. Then eliminate all flames when embers are enough. Place all seeds over the embers and wait until it burn. Liquid will start exuding out and burn soon enough. Remove seeds when all coverings are charred. Overdoing it will render the nuts inedible. No one wants to eat charred nuts. Then seeds are pound gently to remove the coal and get the deliciously roasted cashew nuts.
The whole method seems easy. So what make it hard. Broiling cashew seeds is a no no in our place. They believe it can cause chicken illness, might be a cold. Father was raising native chickens for a living. We can hide somewhere to do the cooking but the process emit a strong irritating smoke. Father and mother will surely caught us. They will scold us and hit our hips several times with a thin bamboo piece. That will surely hurt.
Now, I have eight pieces of cashew seeds. I cannot broil it over the ember. My brother and cousin are raising cocks and bantam chickens. They will surely get angry if I do.
Cashew shells really contain skin irritant. Its smoke is irritating too.
What I did.
1) I got a heavy knife and cut the seeds to halves one by one. Cutting it was hard. Should be carefully done or my fingers will be caught by knife blade. It would be easier if someone can fabricate a cutting machine.
2) Then removed the nut by forcing it out with the use of knife tip. It took me almost 15 minutes removing nuts from eight seeds. I was disappointed because some nuts were damaged.
3) I roasted the nuts over a pan using a low heat. Proper heat application will removed the irritating liquid. No traces of the substance were visible after ten minutes. So I stopped the roasting and let it cool.
The taste is really good but I think our old way or roasting is still the best.
July 2018 update
We were given the chance to get back to the cashew capital. Longer four days stay.
I learned. They also prohibit the broiling of cashew nuts. It really is bad for chickens. The fumes make them sick. The shell fluid is toxic and causes skin burns. The locals are boiling or steaming them, then drying the seeds before extracting the nuts. They are using a simple tool called “kalukati” to cut it to halves. Modern tool allows nut whole nut extraction. I brought home kalukati as souvenir.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.