cajuina, and conserves to tide us over to next year and another winter harvest (remember, July and August are winter months south of the Equator).
I call caju the "cashew but not-a-cashew" fruit because for most North Americans and Europeans the word "cashew" refers to a kidney-shaped nut which can be eaten raw or toasted, plain, salted or sugared. That small nut comes from part of the caju fruit and is eaten here in Brazil, but it's known as castanha de caju (which translates into English as "nut of the cashew fruit). In actuality, the Portuguese terminology is more precise than the English, as the nut is only a part of the story, and for Brazilians caju refers to all the edible parts of the fruit that are not the nut, rather than to the nut itself.
Anacardium occidentale) produces a kidney-shaped seed pod containing a single seed (the "nut"). This seed pod hangs at the end of a pseudo-fruit which is red or yellow, large and smooth-skinned and sweet in flavor. This is the caju as it's known in Brazil, and though it isn't well known in most parts of the English-speaking world, it's called the "cashew apple" in English. So when a Brazilian speaks about caju, it's normally the pseudo-fruit he or she is referring to, not the nut itself. The situation is exactly opposite in English, where "cashew" refers to the nut, and not the pseudo-fruit. Clear?
The next couple of posts will discuss the caju further, and will treat the fruit and the nut as two different foods. Although they come from the same tree, caju (cashew-apple) and castanha de caju (cashew nut) really might just as well come from two entirely different trees. They have almost nothing in common, except botanically, are marketed separately and used differently in eating and cooking. So, here on Flavors of Brazil, we'll separate them as well.