Did You Know Cashew Trees Also Have Apples? Learn About This Fun Fruit

Did you know that cashew trees also grow apples?

Kori Williams - Author

Jun. 10 2024, Published 3:15 p.m. ET

Cashew apples hanging from a branch.
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Cashews are a great snack with plenty of health benefits. But so many people only see these nuts in cans at the grocery store and might not know that they actually grow on trees in warm climates around the world.

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If the idea of a cashew tree is blowing your mind, we have even better news: cashew trees also grow fruit that resembles apples. Although they aren't ripe for long, can you eat the fruit off of a cashew tree? Let's take a deep dive into the uses for this unexpected fruit, including how and when to eat them.

Cashews on a wooden bowl sitting on a table.
Source: iStock
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Can you eat the fruit of a cashew tree?

According to Pots and Pans, yes! You can eat the fruit from cashew trees, but the names are a little misleading. It turns out that these "fruits," called cashew apples, aren't fruits. The cashew itself is the real fruit of the tree, while these "apples" are the cashew's stems.

On the trees, cashew apples look like small red apples or bell peppers with cashews sticking out of the top, but you can eat both parts of the plant directly from the plant. As for the taste, it's not surprising, considering how these fruits look.

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A pile of cashew apples in a bowl outside.
Source: iStock

What do cashew fruits taste like?

Of course, taste depends on the person eating the food. But Mashed says that cashew apples can taste similar to regular apples. They are sweet but have a slightly sour taste and can also be very juicy.

One of the downsides of cashew apples is that they spoil very quickly. If you're going to eat them, you must eat them very soon after you harvest them.

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Unfortunately, cashew apples can spoil in just a couple of days, which is why you're unlikely to see them in grocery stores anytime soon. Since cashews are native to areas including Africa, Brazil, and Southeast Asia, don't expect to see them in American stores anytime soon.

Cashew apples in a tin bowl.
Source: iStock
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How do you eat the fruit of a cashew tree?

Luckily, cashew apples are versatile to use in your cooking. Eat them raw, use them to make dessert, blend them, or drink the juices.

On top of that, cashew apples have plenty of health benefits. One study published by the National Library of Medicine in 2015 says they are full of antioxidants, vitamin C, organic acids, and more. They are also a good source of fiber and can help support your immune system and aid digestion.

When it comes to this fruit, you cook or bake with it just as you would any other. You don't need to peel it or even remove the cashews to enjoy the fruit, either. Many dessert recipes like tarts and pies make sense, but people of the internet have become creative with their options — check out videos like this one for some kitchen inspiration.

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