Saturday April 20, 2024.

Seasonal Treats: Marañón - The Cashew Fruit 


The cashew fruit, the common name for the tropical evergreen tree Anacardium occidentale, is currently in season in Guanacaste. Known locally as Marañón, this delicious fruit is starting to pop up on trees across the region and in areas just outside Las Catalinas.


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The cashew fruit produces both the cashew nut and the cashew apple. The nut is edible and is eaten on its own as a snack, used in recipes, or processed into cashew cheese or cashew butter. Cashew nuts are more widely traded than cashew apples due to the fruit's limited shelf life and susceptibility to bruising. The nut needs to be roasted and peeled before consuming, as it is toxic before cooking. 


The cashew apple is a light reddish to yellow fruit, and its pulp and juice can be processed into a sweet, astringent fruit drink, fermented and distilled into liquor, or made into jam. When consumed, the apple's astringency is sometimes removed by steaming the fruit for five minutes before washing it in cold water or steeping it in boiling salt water for five minutes. 


If you have a tree nut allergy, these fruits can be harmful.  


You can find Marañón in roadside fruit stands, farmer’s markets, and supermarkets. Keep an eye out for the trees during your drives, too. The seed will be hanging below the fruit, and you will see bright pops of yellow or red on a tree that grows up to fourteen meters (Forty-six feet). Enjoy this seasonal treat while it lasts. 


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