Why do I use Cashews instead of other nuts?
- They taste most like dairy milk products when they're fermented. (And I simply don't like the taste of fermented sunflower seeds to be honest - and I only want to offer to you what I like myself, too)
- They naturally contain a lot more carbohydrates that other nuts, what makes it possible to ferment them without adding any sugar. (I experimented with sunflower seeds and almonds, too, without success)
- They naturally contain a high amount of the essential aminoacid L-tryptophan. The final effect of L-tryptophan is often described as mood-lifting, calming and weight-reducing. Those effects are presumably based on the fact that L-tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the human brain. It is assumed that an increased serotonin level can lighten the mood and alleviate depression and reduce appetite. (That's why I call my products "GoodMoodFood, btw.)
- They're relatively soft "nuts", so my high performance blender can grind them easily so fine that I don't need to strain anything at the end, so there are the entire "nuts" inside my products at the end.
- I already knew a supplier who guarantees very high ethical standards regarding their cultivation, post-harvest-processing, and working conditions for really everyone involved, meeting my own values regarding these aspect. At the same time he can still offer them for a reasonal price because he imports them directly from Bali to Germany without any other vendors in between.
How does an entire Cashew-Fruit look like?
The green on the left is not ripe yet, the red one on the right is. There exist also varieties whose ripe fruits are yellow. They're being harvested every 3-4 months. The upper red part, also called "cashew-apple" is edible, too, but the cashew-nuts as we know them are only inside the small kidney-shaped part of the fruit.
This kidney-shaped nut has a very hard double-layer-shell with a solid Oil rich in the skin-irritating substance called Cardol located between both shells. Under the inner shell layer there's a thin skinny layer called Testa which is toxic for human consumption.
For cracking of big amounts of Cashewnuts within little time, most producers heat them with steam or roast them which neutralizes the oil between the two shell layers and makes them bruttle, too. But this causes the toxins from the Testa to migrate into the inner cashewnut we're going to eat at the end. This is the case for ~100% of the Cashews offered in the Supermarkets. Otherwise they couldn't offer them cheaper than my supplier.
Because of that, most people say: "really 100% raw Cashews, that's not possible." But that's just wrong.
The Cashews I order from my supplier are not at all exposed to temperatures above 42°C until they arrive at my home. Because the people cracking them use a traditional method well known on the Indonesian islands of Bali and Flores, called "Flores hand cracking Method".
The social & ethical surplus:
The Cashews I process would just rot on the floor if my suppliers family-cooperative there wouldn't exist. It enables the families to deliver and sell harvest surpluses and earn a fair supplementary income thanks to this cooperative, which already exists for >5 years (since then I'm a happy regular customer of my supplier and now just increased the order amounts for my Cashew delicacies production).
My supplier buys the Cashews I process for all the delicacies I offer here directly from this mentioned balinesian family-cooperative and transports them by ship himself directly to Germany from where I get them by post parcel.
The Cashews face those steps after harvest:
- They are separated from the upper part, called cashew-apple directly after harvest. The fresh cashew-apple is only short-time storable and either processed to f.ex. marmelade, or used as animal food or composted.
- The same day they're being thrown in cold water to separate the empty and bad ones from the good ones. The latter sink down after a while.
- Drying of the nuts for 1 day in the sun at maximum 45°C
- Handcracking of the nuts within the region where they were harvested. One by one, with special nutcrackers and the workers wearing hand gloves. One average worker kann crack about 500g of peeled Cashews per hour.
- Manual removal of the thin skinny toxic layer called Testa. Nut by nut, with simple household tools (knifes, toothbrushes).
- Broken nuts are manually separated from whole nuts and either packed for shipping or locally processed.
- They're vacuum packed and transported to Germany by ship within big containers. From there I get them via DHL parcel.
Who likes, can watch the video from a former Australian company who sold Cashews that where processed exactly like the ones my supplier delivers:
What happens with the Cashews while I process them?
All Cashew-based products I'm offering are processed from only those Cashews.
I grind them myself in my high performance blender together with spring water.
The fermented ones are entierely raw => all used lactobacteria are still alive and can therefore contribute to a healthy microbiome in our digestion system which has a strong influence on our immune system.
Only for the unfermented Delicacies like Milk and cream I have to use boiling water to get them creamy and to increase their shelflife from ~2 days (raw) to ~3-4days (with boiling water).