Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “nuts.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!
The word ‘nuts’ immediately brought to mind ‘coconuts’, ‘arecanuts’ and ‘cashewnuts’. These are grown widely in my part of the country, coastal south-west Karnataka.
We belong to the Havyaka Brahmin community. People of my community were and are agriculturists. Though now most of the younger generation have gone into many other professions. The Havyakas have been growing these three nuts for generations. I had once asked my father-in-law how this had happened. He said that is how it has been from long back. They cultivated paddy and grew vegetables and fruits. But these three nuts have been the backbone of their life.
Coconut and arecanut trees are tall trees and plucking the nuts is specialised work. Not everyone can climb these trees. They are like tall poles with no branches at all. Coconuts and areca nuts are used in our religious functions too. We use coconuts in our daily food. And coconut oil too.
The cashew nut is very tasty. The cashew fruit is very pungent and usually people prefer not to eat too much of it. It irritates the throat . So, we eat it with a little salt. It is used to make ‘feni’, an alcoholic drink. Feni is prepared in the neighbouring state, Goa. The kernel is removed from in different ways. I am not very sure how it done in the cashew factories. In our village, the nuts are roasted on fire and when they cool, they are cut open to removed the kernel . These are very tasty. But if one is not an expert the nuts burn. I have heard about cashew oil but I have not used it.
Cashew nuts, in the initial stages.