National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day
April 21 is National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day. Sounds like another made up holiday for the benefit of merchants. But still, chocolate-covered cashews are definitely a decadent indulgence, at least worth eating a few today.
The cashew is technically not a nut, but is actually a seed, and is native to Brazil. The cashew shell is toxic, which is why it is removed before it is sold to consumers.
Cashews, as with other tree nuts, are a good source of antioxidants, but they will cost you dearly in calories.
There are 87 calories in 10 raw cashews, which aren’t really raw. They have been heat-processed to remove toxins. 1/3 cup of roasted, salted cashews will set you back 320 calories, with 225 of those calories coming from fat. You can enjoy nine pieces of chocolate-covered cashews for 239 calories.
I’m not wild about commercially sold chocolate-covered cashews. The shiny glaze and the questionable quality of the chocolate that’s used to coat the cashews is not tasty at all.
I prefer making my own Cashew Bark, pouring melted dark chocolate over cashews, and then breaking into pieces when cooled. The bark tastes so good made with Scharffen Berger, Callebaut, Guittard, or other fine chocolate, but the bark also has an excess of richness because of the butteriness of the cashews. So a little nibble goes a long way.
From a commentary about cashews from Foodimentary:
India is the world’s largest producer of cashews, with Brazil second and Africa a distant third.
While high in fat, cashews actually contain less fat than other mass-produced nuts, such as almond and walnuts, and the amount of dietary fiber contained make them a good food for weight loss when eaten in moderation.
Cashews have a high fat content, which means that if they are left at room temperature, they won’t stay fresh for long.