Cashew Apple


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 "marañón", it ripens into a yellow and/or red structure about 5–11 cm long.
The true fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney or boxing-glove shaped drupe that grows at the end of the pseudofruit. Actually, 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.


Other names: maranon
Translations: Indijas Apple, Anakardžio Apple, Cajou Apple, Điều Apple, Apple nerkowca, काजू सेब, Caju, Кешью Apple, Ανακαρδιοειδών Apple, الكاجو أبل, 캐슈 애플, Kešu Apple, Apple Mete, Keshew Apple, 腰果苹果, Anacards Apple, Indijski Apple, Kešu Apple, Acagiù Apple, קשיו אפל, Cashewnötter Apple, Кажу јабука, カシューアップル, De pomme de cajou, Cashew-Apfel, Anacardos Apple, Кешью Apple, &

Physical Description

The cashew apple is oval or pear-shaped. It ripens into a yellow and/or red fruit about 5–11 cm long

Colors: Ripened they are bright red to orangish and yellow

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet. acidic
Mouthfeel: Juicy, Sweet, Acidic, "furry"

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: .
Buying: This fragile fruit is unsuitable for transport, it's best bought or picked directly from a grower or purchased dried.
Procuring: Cashew's generally prefer ample water, but too much rainfall and/or very high humidity may retard growth, trees seem to do better in slightly drier tropical climates. They are quite drought tolerant.

Preparation and Use

Cleaning: The cashew apple can be lightly washed and eaten fresh or juiced.

Conserving and Storing

This fruit does not store well due to it's fragility. It is best stored dried and reconstituted for use.


The production and processing of cashew nuts are complex and difficult problems. Because of the great handicap of the toxic shell oil, Latin Americans and West Indians over the years have been most enthusiastic about the succulent cashew apple and have generally thrown the nut away or processed it crudely on a limited scale, except in Brazil, where there is a highly developed cashew nut processing industry, especially in Ceara. In Mozambique, also, the apple reigned supreme for decades. Attention then focused on the nut, but, in 1972, the industrial potential of the juice and sirup from the estimated 2 million tons of surplus cashew apples was being investigated. In India, on the other hand, vast tonnages of cashew apples have largely gone to waste while that country pioneered in the utilization and promotion of the nut.

The apple and nut fall together when both are ripe and, in commercial nut plantations, it is most practical to twist off the nut and leave the apple on the ground for later grazing by cattle or pigs. But, where labor costs are very low, the apples may be gathered up and taken to markets or processing plants. In Goa, India, the apples are still trampled by foot to extract the juice for the locally famous distilled liquor, feni. In Brazil, great heaps are displayed by fruit vendors, and the juice is used as a fresh beverage and for wine.

History: The cashew is native to and northeast Brazil and, in the 16th Century, Portuguese traders introduced it to Mozambique and coastal India, but only as a soil retainer to stop erosion on the coasts. It flourished and ran wild and formed extensive forests in these locations and on nearby islands, and eventually it also became dispersed in East Africa and throughout the tropical lowlands of northern South America, Central America and the West Indies. It has been more or less casually planted in all warm regions and a few fruiting specimens are found in experimental stations and private gardens in southern Florida.



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