Cashew Trees On Phuket
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Tourists and visitors to Phuket Island, Thailand will know about cashews before they leave the island, that is if they eat Thai food. Although cashews are more common as snacks to westerners, they are considered an ingredient to the Thai culture and cuisine.
On the outside of Phuket Town on Phuket Island you can find the Sri Bhurapa Orchid Company. With thirty years of being in the cashew business, Phuket Island, Thailand is the perfect place, with the perfect climate, to grow cashew trees.
Cashew Nut Products
Cashew products made by the company are coated with thick chocolate, some are flavored with coconut, sesame, or other ingredients, and some left plain.
Either way visitors to Phuket Island as well as locals buy them. However, getting the cashews from the trees, processed and ready to eat is a task most of the visitors are unaware of.
Cashew Nut Processing
This task of processing the cashew nuts is not easy. The cashew nut is formed inside a kidney shaped shell, surrounded by poisonous oil, which burns the skin. These toxins are reduced by boiling the cashews.
Unfortunately, cracking the shells has to be done with care. This requires manual labor. The workers wrap plastic around their fingertips so the black oil won't be able to burn their skin. During the next stage, all the poison is eliminated when the shelled nuts are baked at a low temperature for 12 hours.
After this a speckled skin is peeled off, then a grading procedure is done and the nuts are separated into their groups. Whole, half, and cashew pieces.
Some of the cashews are shipped to different places, but a lot of them remain on Phuket Island for the visitors and the locals who frequently use cashews in Thai dishes and cuisines.
Other Uses of the Cashew Tree
The cashew tree is wealthy in resources. Putting the cashew nut itself aside. The shells and the bark are used by industry. Automotive brake oil can be made with the black nasty oils, and in some cases the bark of the cashew tree is used for medicinal properties by some of the residents of Phuket Island according to their culture.
Visitors who come to Phuket Island, Thailand are allowed to take a tour of the showroom in the cashew factory, where they can get an idea of how cashew nuts come to be, after they leave the tree.
Last Updated: 28 Mar 2011