Kasoy, Mani, Nilagang Itlog, kendi, Mais… If you are a regular traveler on the busy highways of Manila, you might have grown accustomed to people selling these inside the bus or on the sidewalk. Pinoy’s life won’t be complete without these snacks, I guess. But what I love the most among these goodies is the roasted cashew nuts, or Kasoy. I used to think that only the nut of the Cashew is edible, but on my visit to Antipolo, I get to taste not only the nuts but also the “apple” of this lovely fruit.
Antiplo City celebrated the Ang Tipulo Festival this May showcasing their culture and major local harvest – Suman, Mangga, and Kasoy. As my way of joining their celebration, I planned to eat these delicacies but only chanced upon Suman and Kasoy.
After eating a handful of Suman, we went looking for cashew. At first, I just wished to buy the usual roasted cashew nuts but something else captured my fancy. When I saw an old lady selling fresh cashew fruits, I immediately dragged my partner and asked him to buy me half a kilo of this fruit. The vendors even taught us how to eat it, “hatiin nyo lang po tapos lagyan nyo ng asin tapos pwede nyo ng kainin…”
It’s juicy like pineapple, crisp like apple, sweet like ripe mango but just when you thought it’s kind of okay, there will come an aftertaste that makes everything else weird. Lol! I was really thrilled to finally eat cashew no matter how weird it tastes. I had the same reaction when I first tasted Durian – it was okay, but definitely not my thing.
Kasoy or Cashew (Anacardium Occidentale) seems to originate in Northern Brazil but can also be found in tropical countries like ours. I’ve also read that there are places like Palawan where people love cashew fruits and put it as ingredients to some of their dishes. In Latin America, they use it as a fruit drink by squeezing the juice out of the cashew apple. The popular cashew nuts is prepared by getting the “nuts” from hundreds of cashew fruits then roasted so you can enjoy a handful of it. No wonder why it’s so expensive!
I don’t really consider myself as adventurous when it comes to food but I still enjoy experiences like this when I can get to eat the things I just see or read somewhere. And as someone who grew up in Antipolo, I’m really proud to know that finest cashews can be found here along with many other things this city has to offer.
Truly, the Philippines is a great place not only for travel, but also for the different food exploration. Drop by again for my other food adventures and misadventures. How about you? Have you eaten a cashew fruit?