The fruit (nut)
The nut is attached to the lower portion of the cashew apple which is conically shaped. The cashew nut (seed) hangs at the bottom of the apple, and is c-shaped.
The cashew seed has within the outside shell the edible kernel or nut. In its raw form the cashew kernel is soft, white and meaty. When roasted it changes colour and taste. Salted, it appeals to the palate as the most delicious nut.
Cashew apples and cashew nuts are excellent sources of nutrition. The cashew apple contains five times more vitamin C than an orange and contains more calcium, iron and vitamin B1 than other fruit such as citrus, avocados and bananas.
Cashew shell oil extracted from the shells is caustic and causes burns on the skin. The mucous membranes of the mouth and throat are severely affected when it comes into contact with shell oil or the irritating fumes emitted during roasting. The oily shell liquid has many uses.