22 Apr2010

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On a late afternoon visit to the Coron public market, we noticed this lady selling what looked like whole cashew kernels for sale, with burnished “skins” still on. There are several ways to cook and extract cashew nuts (and/or extract and cook cashews) from their hard shells. Whole cashew kernels are an unusual sight in the Philippines, as most cashews are split before they are processed, so I was intrigued. The vendor said these cashews had been roasted whole in their hard shells, then the whole nuts extracted, with skins still on. The nuts had been roasted just hours before. We bought several bags and took them back to our hotel.

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We were fortunate that the cashew season had peaked just 2-3 weeks before we arrived in Coron, so everything on offer was definitely fresh, it was just a choice between roasted or fried or simply dried cashew nuts…

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Peeling the papery skins were not so easy, and bits were charred and burned.

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These nuts were pretty good, but the flavor was smoky, in a more unpleasant than pleasant manner. I wondered if roasting and burning the thick shells, notoriously laced with a toxic acid, transfered some off flavors to the nuts. Also, while it was definitely healthier without added fat, I just wasn’t convinced these were the best choice of all available cashews…

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Having said that, we still managed to eat several packages of the roasted cashews with the help of some beer. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. izang says:

    sarap..but i prefer the fried adobo cashew…when we were kids, we roast them by burning dayami…and my lolo said there must be no chickens around as they will get “bulutong” …(chicken pox on a chicken?) hehehe…

    Apr 22, 2010 | 5:11 am

     
  2. kitchen says:

    I agree with Izang, yes my mom told me that too. it also gives them colds. not only to chickens but also to some avian species. i remembered i roasted some cashew nuts on open fire at our backyard the neighbors pigeons got sick. :(

    Apr 22, 2010 | 5:41 am

     
  3. atbnorge says:

    For a person from my generation or older in Antipolo, roasting whole cashew is a no-brainer. Expertise came because we used cashew to play “tatsing”; we placed our bets of butong kasoy on the ground inside a circle then we had our flat stone or pamato and threw it onto the circle trying to get as many cashew out of the area. But the fun and friendship didn’t end on who got the most number of cashew. We placed the whole lot in a tin can full of holes and placed it over burning wood (paper did the trick many times). One cashew that caught fire got the whole lot burning in no time. When we were relatively young, we burned most of the seeds, but as we grew older, we mastered the art—once they were burning, it was better to throw the seeds out of the tin can onto the ground to let them burn individually. We learned how long it took to roast cashew that way—through play.

    The cashew kernel actually has just enough “fuel” to cook the nut inside. So when it stops burning, just wait for it to cool then prize it open by hitting the burnt seed with a hard and thin object (I often used stone because that’s what’s readily available). We learned hand dexterity with the exercise, too, because we liked eating whole and perfect cashew nuts so we didn’t hit the burnt seed hard or too many times…If the seed has been roasted perfectly, the burnished skin will peel away without any difficulty at all. But if there is still that “toxic” oil taste, it means that the nut still needed time to roast. Too much exposure to that oil can burn one’s skin that’s why we wrapped our fingers in cloth ang topped with plastic (we didn’t have our supply of Latex gloves, heheh)…Those who are selling whole roasted cashew nuts are actually capitalising on good timing. They do not want the cashew to be over roasted because it also like making pop corn. One can sacrifice overdoing some or underdoing some. The taste is different from cashew that’d been roasted a day or days ago….Happy munching!

    Apr 22, 2010 | 5:54 am

     
  4. atbnorge says:

    You wrote: “…the flavor was smoky, in a more unpleasant than pleasant manner.”

    As I studied the pictures, the nuts needed a bit more roasting because a lot of them still have the whole burnished skin intact. A good indication that a cashew was roasted beautifully is when there is a part of that burnished skin that is cracked and you don’t get the underside of your nail hurting; you just peel it open as you peel adobong mani na may balat. You should’ve roasted the cashew you bought in an oven for a good ten minutes or so before you ate them; you could’ve avoided that “unpleasant” taste.

    Apr 22, 2010 | 6:14 am

     
  5. millet says:

    the fact that the skins were hard to peel away means they were a bit underdone. a quick pop in the oven toaster would have helped, and would have removed the astringent taste and the acrid smell. cashews are my favorite nuts. but did you know that most of the nuts sold here are not from palawan but from vietnam?

    Apr 22, 2010 | 8:03 am

     
  6. Marketman says:

    millet, yes, there are a lot of imported cashews, that’s why I only buy them in Coron just after harvest, and I can see the whole nuts in abundance… :) Another post on cashews coming up soon…

    Apr 22, 2010 | 8:42 am

     
  7. Ric says:

    Reminds me of summers spent in Mindoro where we used to roast cashew nuts – how time flies! This just opened a flood gate of memories!

    Apr 22, 2010 | 10:02 am

     
  8. Gerry says:

    May I ask how much cashews in Coron cost per kilo?

    Apr 22, 2010 | 10:24 am

     
  9. Marketman says:

    Gerry, PHP450-600 per kilo, depending on how it is prepared and volume purchased.

    Apr 22, 2010 | 10:59 am

     
  10. Ehba says:

    On my last trip to Pinas last year, we stopped at Duty Free in Olongapo, and on our way out, a local farmer was selling newly roasted half-split cashews. Bought four 1/2 kilo- plastic bags (medio naawa lang ako); gosh, tasted it and they were soooo good. I hurriedly got back to buy some more, but unfortunately, pinaalis nung security guard yung “”mama” and is nowhere to be seen. I wished I had bought more, coz they were cheap; P100 per bag, so that’s about P200 per kilo. The man mentioned that it is his own harvest, and he roasted it himself. He looked like a Mangyan to me.

    Apr 22, 2010 | 1:08 pm

     
  11. Joey Pacheco says:

    I have always preferred local kasuy over imported ones. Though less ‘perfect’ and smaller that the ones from the US, mas malasa at malinamnam ang Palawan kasuy :-)

    Apr 22, 2010 | 2:25 pm

     
  12. Jack Hammer says:

    OMG !!!
    It is indeed Cashew peak season in India as well.
    I dont enjoy the Cashew Nut as much as I do the Cashew Apple with Coarse Sea Salt.
    I was supposed to go to India this week, but have postponed it to second week of May.
    Hope I get some Cashew Apples and roast some nuts and eat them with a mixture of dry Chilli Powder and Coarse Sea Salt and drown them with KingFisher Beer, at the Family House on a Hill in Siolim, Goa, India.
    Also Hope they are still available when I come to the Pinas in June/July 2010.

    Apr 22, 2010 | 4:56 pm

     
  13. millet says:

    cagayan de oro has vaery good casuy, too – fresh roasted, large,whole nuts. near the airport, and in the fruitstands downtown. same price as coron’s. my favorite nut!

    Apr 22, 2010 | 5:38 pm

     
  14. Connie C says:

    Ehba, the “mama” who sold you the cashew nuts is most likely an Aeta, one of the indigenous people of Zambales. The Mangyan is from Mindoro though I must say some of the Mangyans who are mostly taller in stature may bear some resemblance to the Aetas such as the Irayas of Northern Mindoro. The Irayas have wavy or curly hair but are not as kinky as the Aetas.

    The term Mangyan is also used as a generic term for the eight Mangyan indigenous groups or tribes who each have their own language and culture and set of customs distinct from each other. It is interesting to note that the Ratagnon Mangyans of southern Mindoro speak a language similar to the Cuyunens, the natives of Cuyo island of northern Palawan. The Hanunuo Mangyans of the south also have a pre Hispanic syllabic form of writing ( probably of Indic origin via Indonesia) similar to the Tagbanuas of Palawan.

    The Mangyans are known for being stewards of the environment and practice sustainable agriculture. They do not have a sense of ownership of the land feeling that it is there for everybody’s sustenance. Too bad many of them are victims of encroachment of the lowlanders.

    I know I digressed, but coming from Mindoro, I did not know much about our own katutubos until my more recent trips to my home province thru the Mangyan Heritage Center.

    Apr 22, 2010 | 7:09 pm

     
  15. Mimi says:

    I immediately thought Sansrival when I saw the roasted casuy.

    Apr 22, 2010 | 9:54 pm

     
  16. Brian Asis says:

    Roasted highland… cashews? Hehehehe. That’s the only part that I hate about eating pili, separating the skin from the nuts.

    Apr 23, 2010 | 2:14 am

     
  17. Ehba says:

    Thanks Connie for the info. Actually way back in the 70’s n the deeper Quezon Province (my lolo’s farm), merong mga Aetas na nagtitinda ng mga veggies and carabao’s milk. Ewan lang kung ano na ang nagyari. I have a friend from Mindoro, and she wanted me to come to their town when I come this May, pero takot ako sa barko, and the plane fare is expensive, marami kasi ang sasama sa pagpunta ko eh.

    Apr 23, 2010 | 9:58 am

     
  18. Migration Mark says:

    I just recently ate some cashews in Thailand with the skin still on that proved to be delicious. I usually eat ones that don’t need to be shelled, however I think the nuts with the skin on were slightly more crunchy.

    Apr 23, 2010 | 4:48 pm

     
  19. iya says:

    cashews from morong, bataan are yummy!

    Apr 24, 2010 | 8:21 pm

     
  20. Brangelina says:

    Hubby was in Puerto Princesa during Lent. He bought roasted cashews in the old market. The cashews were packed in half-kilo bags which cost a hundred pesos each. They tasted very good, no aftertaste, but not so crunchy. So I reheated them in the toaster oven for about 4 minutes and they came out crunchy and became more flavorful. And the best thing is they were unsalted.

    Apr 27, 2010 | 7:04 pm

     
  21. Marilyn says:

    Hi. I am in Nicaragua and have obtained whole unroasted cashews. Can I roast them in my oven? Any suggestions how long? After that then what?
    Thanks. Marilyn

    May 3, 2010 | 12:16 am

     
  22. Rei says:

    that noxious odor that went through your noses is probably the salicylic acid present on the nut’s shell…that acid is strong and very corrosive that it’s used to treat and burn off warts(sorry for the added info)

    Jul 20, 2010 | 2:49 pm

     
  23. galileo says:

    should you need to order your favorite cashew nuts, try kasuy de cagayan, you can make your orders 2-3 days earlier and we’ll cook it for you!

    pick-up price in Cagayan de Oro City is at P400.00 per kilo, For Greater Manila Area Paying Customers, we offer Airport pick up only. at P450.00 per kilo inclusive of freight and handling, Three (3) kgs minimum Order. Or we’ll have it delivered to you (major destinations) in the Philippines thru any known courier service in your area at a rate of P500.00 per kilo inclusive of freight and handling, minimum order of Three (3) kgs.

    We can pack your orders in 100, 250 and 500 grams upon request

    Please contact gali at 09274455330 or email at kasuydecagayan@yahoo.com

    Nov 13, 2010 | 8:33 am

     
 

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