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From the Tropics: Roasting Cashew Nuts and How to Prepare Cocada edit

What appears to be the fruit of the cashew tree is an oval or pear-shaped accessory fruit or false fruit that develops from the receptacle of the cashew flower. Called the cashew apple, better known in Central America as “jocote de marañón”, it ripens into a yellow and/or red structure about 5–11 cm long. It is edible, and has a strong “sweet” smell and a sweet taste. The pulp of the cashew apple is very juicy, but the skin is fragile, making it unsuitable for transport. It is often used as a flavor in agua fresca. The true fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney or boxing-glove shaped drupe that grows at the end of the pseudofruit. The drupe develops first on the tree, and then the peduncle expands into the pseudofruit. Within the true fruit is a single seed, the cashew nut. Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense the fruit of the cashew is a seed…Wikipedia


I grew up with cashew trees in the backyard, they were so colorful and aromatic…we couldn’t resist to climb them and get some fruit if they were too high. We saved the nuts to roast when we had plenty and the day was sunny. I remember it was always during Holy Week when the cashew trees were in season. Right now we have some still with fruit, but it gets blemishes from the rain.
When it’s in season, you can find it almost every where: sold by street vendors, at supermarkets, etc. It is not cheap, because it labor intensive to roast them and shell them. The photo-collage is from my last cashew-roasting experience at home.
Now, you can try this easy recipe of a traditional sweet from the tropics, a well loved one!

Cocada con Pepita y Canela (Cocada with Cashe and Cinnamon)

This is a variation of my original recipe Cocada con Almendra. Check out one of my delicious new creations: Cocada Naranja - Piña (Orange - Pineapple Cocada)

Ingredients

  • 2 coconuts
  • 1-3/4 cup sugar
  • Oil, for preparing the pan (optional)
  • 1 cup roasted cashew nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

Directions:

Pick two large coconuts with plenty of water inside; drain, open and peel off the brown skin from the coconut meat. Shred the coconut to yield 3-3/4 cups shredded coconut meat and 2-1/2 cups coconut water.
Mix the coconut water and sugar in a medium, heavy pot over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes to thicken and create a light syrup.
Add the coconut, decrease the heat to low and cook stirring constantly for 15 to 18 minutes. The heat has to be very low to prevent the cocadas from turning brown, which is actually okay otherwise, but for this recipe they should stay white!
Mix in the chopped almonds and cinnamon, and drop spoonfuls of the size you desire in oil coated pans or over parchment covered pans. Cool completely.

Now, let me share ith you this delicious and easy way to use coconuts and cashew nuts:
Do not forget to try these delicious recipes with cashew nuts:

  • by Chef Melissa
  • May 12, 2009
  • 1:00 am

Comments

Picture of Paz Paz said on...
05.13.09 at 11:18 PM |

I like that this recipe sounds interesting and simple to make.  wink

Paz

hello i was thinking of making this recipe because it sounds so interesting and tropical but i just was wondering what kind of flavor they have and all i could think of is chestnuts. do they taste like chestnuts?
taloollah

Picture of melissa melissa said on...
06.03.09 at 04:27 AM |

Yes Paz, it is so simple to make and delicious, that you would prepare it again and again and again. Promise!

Hi Taloollah! Thank you for your visit! I would rather say they taste like a cross between peanuts and almonds wink

Picture of Julie Smith Julie Smith said on...
06.03.09 at 07:03 PM |

What a nice exotic recipe. I will try it soon and give you my appreciation!

Thank you!

Picture of Mary Acai Mary Acai said on...
09.04.09 at 03:57 PM |

Really i love this food. i was thinking of making this recipe because it sounds so interesting and tropical but i just was wondering what kind of flavor they have and all i could think of is chestnuts. do they taste like chestnuts?would rather say they taste like a cross between peanuts and almonds

Picture of Paz Paz said on...
09.12.09 at 04:45 PM |

I like that this recipe sounds interesting and simple to make.  wink

Paz

Picture of Juan .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
10.02.09 at 03:09 PM |

Wow - I never knew all the things you could make with cashews.  I have a small get together next week, I was looking for something with cashews - I will give this try.  Thanks.

Picture of annaccy .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
11.22.09 at 08:32 AM |

Cashew nuts with chikcen (diced), red and green pepper, onions, give it a quick stir-fry is one of my favorite Asian dish.

Picture of Nick Matyas .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
01.11.10 at 05:48 PM |

This blog is very helpful .
I like this site very much.

Thanks

Picture of Jess .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
01.21.10 at 02:12 AM |

Wow, those pictures bring back memories.  I had friends whose family had a beach house near Boca de Chame, and we always stopped at some roadside place along the way for freshly roasted cashew nuts on the way there.  As I remember, the smoke from the burning husks is very caustic, so they need to be roasted out in the open with lots of air circulation.  There is nothing like the freshly roasted nuts though.  And the juice from the fruit is wonderful.

I so miss Panama….

Picture of Jay Sean .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
01.22.10 at 05:57 AM |

This recipe looks so good and I am very eager to make it at home.

Picture of Tomas Red .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
04.16.10 at 10:34 AM |

thanks for the recipe, I love cashew nuts, i’ve never tried them like this before though,i’ll have to try it.

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