You may hear about it again and again: cashew nuts cannot be raw. Or you may hear that it is impossible to get cashew nuts out of their shell without actually using heat. Or you may hear “don't fool me, cashew nuts are poisonous and can never be harvested without the use of high temperatures!” Well, actually, it is partially true. The truth is that it is possible to harvest raw cashews but nobody is doing it because... it is a real ordeal! (So many people may think it is impossible because they never heard of it) In fact, getting a cashew nut out of its shell is kind of an ordeal even for the “standard” businesses. What about our raw mission then! And why should we prefer raw cashews in the first place?
“Killing me softly” aka “Standard” food business procedure
Let’s have a quick look at how “standard” food businesses harvest cashew nuts. It may shed some light on why we care so much about what we do. First, we have the cashew apples which are harvested and left to dry for few days in the sun. Each apple always produces one single cashew nut. The edible nut as you know it is still in its hard shell.
To crack this hard shell, heat is being used. Steaming the shell makes it softer and easier to open. This process is difficult and dangerous for two reasons: First of all, there is a poisonous liquid underneath the shell and people have to wear gloves and glasses to protect every inch of their body.
Secondly, carbon dioxide is released when the shell is opened and if people happen to breathe this, it can make them feel sick. After the heating process, comes the delicate extraction of the nut. The workers crack each shell by hand with a hammer to get to the small treasure*.
Can you imagine that? Each and every single nut needs to undergo this manual procedure to be extracted from its shell. This is what it takes to uncover the lovely creamy edible nut** ... wait a minute. Did we say creamy?
Creamy... Quality or quantity?
Have you noticed the “poor” appearance of some of the cashews found in your supermarket? Some of them may be looking rather small, shrunk and with an unappealing yellowish-brownish colour. Some may even be very dry with no taste at all.
(If you are screaming right now with disagreement, - and perhaps thinking “I love my local seller's cashew nuts!” Please let us ask you: have you ever tried any other cashews apart from the standard ones? Or should we say: have you ever tried our Lifefood RAW cashews? If you haven’t, we recommend you given them a go. You will discover a new universe, it's a promise. We are 100% sure the taste difference will speak for itself.)
Our cashew nuts are never heated. Yes, the process to extract the nut from its shell takes longer. And yes, we know that for standard businesses “time is money”. But as you already know, we at Lifefood are not running a regular business. We are different. We prefer relations over business. We prefer quality over quantity.
And it is well worth it - Both for the workers as they get paid more than usual and for the quality of the cashews.
Because we love cashews.
Our cashew nuts don't undergo any steaming and roasting processes that are killing valuable nutrients. Our cashews stay alive in their beautiful original shape and colour. They also keep their truly creamy taste. To us, they are happy cashews. This is the reason why they are a bit more expensive than the standard cashews. Now you understand the situation.
We not only sell the cashews separately but we also use these little treasures in our products - Because you are worth it. You deserve the best. Enjoy it!
* Nowadays, however, more and more machines overtake this handmade job. This affects the quality of the cashew nut.
** Important notice – these cashews, when not salted, are very often marked as “natural”. It has nothing to do with the real RAW quality. It simply means that there were not salted or roasted AFTER the extraction process.
Do you want to know more? Listen Tereza Havrlandová, Lifefood founder, speaking about raw cashews.