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National Cashew Day / National Espresso DaY
NATIONAL CASHEW DAY
My all-time favorite nut is recognized each year on November 23 during National Cashew Day.
The cashew nut is a seed harvested from the cashew tree. The tree originated in Northeastern Brazil. However, it is now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew apples and nuts.
With leaves arranged spirally and a leathery texture, the evergreen cashew tree grows as tall as 32 feet high and often has an irregularly shaped trunk. The flowers are small, starting out pale green then turning reddish, with each one having five slender, acute petals.
The largest cashew tree in the world covers about 81,000 sq. ft. and is located in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
· The cashew tree has a fruit called the “cashew apple.” Its fragile skin makes it unsuitable for transport.
· Latin Americans make a fruit drink from the cashew apple.
· The Cashew causes fewer allergic reactions than other nuts or peanuts.
· Although native to northeast Brazil, the Portuguese took the cashew plant to Goa, India, between 1560 and 1565. From Goa, it spread throughout Southeast Asia and, eventually, Africa.
· We often see peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and other nuts sold in the shell. Due to the toxic nature of the cashew nut’s shell, this is not possible.
· Speaking of the shell, the Cashew is not a true nut. They do not develop a hard wall around the seed as hazelnuts or walnuts do. Cashews instead have a lining around the seed that is filled with a caustic fluid.
· This nut is an excellent source of antioxidants.
· It’s also a source of dietary trace minerals: copper, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous.
· Cashew oil is a dark yellow oil for cooking, or salad dressing pressed from cashew nuts.
· Many parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes.
NATIONAL ESPRESSO DAY
Get the pure coffee essence on National Espresso Day! Whether you sip one cup or keep buzzing all day long, November 23rd is the day.
The word espresso (/ɛˈsprɛsoʊ/; Italian pronunciation: [eˈsprɛsso]) in Italian means ‘quick in time.’ Before the advent of the espresso machine, espresso was simply a coffee expressly made for the person ordering it. It was also made with recently roasted and freshly ground beans. The cup was brewed shortly before serving. In the late 1800s, this practice was commonplace in cafés and restaurants.
While today’s espresso maintains the freshness quality, it has undergone a transition in meaning. We’ve come to know espresso as a highly concentrated brew served in smaller quantities. We may also use espresso as a base for other delicious coffee creations.
We can thank the espresso machine for this modern view of espresso. In 1901, Italian Luigi Bezzera invented the first successful espresso machine. The newer technologies produced a smaller, more concentrated cup more quickly than traditional coffee brewing methods. Additionally, this thicker, more intense brew created a creamy foam on top called the crema. The richer flavors and aromas of an espresso create delicious lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, macchiato, and many cafe’ creations.
Beyond the range of beverages, the intense flavor of espresso lends itself to baking. Where coffee may become lost when blended with other flavors, espresso remains vibrant. Blend it with cream cheese, sugar and flour for a cheesecake. Add it to ladyfingers and make tiramisu. Many desserts call for espressos such as ice cream and creme brulee.