Don’t heat Cashew Shells on the Stove / No cocine Pepas por la Estufa   2 comments

My husband had a cooking adventure today.  But not the kind he was looking for.  We have a bag of hard-as-a-rock shells from the Marañon fruit, which have cashew nuts inside of them.  In order to eat the cashew, you have to heat up the shell to the point where its slightly charred, so you can crack it open and get the cashew out from the inside.

You cannot heat the Pepa (shell) too much or you’ll char the cashew inside of it.  It’s something you learn with time.

So today, instead of putting the Pepas into a little fire in the bowl of the grill, my husband decided he’d cook them on the stove, in a plate made out of ‘barra’ which is a type of earthenware made in El Salvador.

All began well, but within moments a haze began to develop in the kitchen.  The haze grew into a cloud, with a nasty aroma that makes you cough.  I exited the kitchen.   The smoke became so thick I had to move around the corner, as the patio outside the kitchen became engulfed in the toxic fumes.

I peeked around the corner just in time to see flames coming off the barra plate (they ignited!), which my husband quickly doused with water.   In the end, it still turned out well, and we had a couple of tasty handfuls of freshly toasted cashew.  Yum yum.

Giggling, after dousing the fire

Smoke everywhere, Pepas smoldering

Posted August 1, 2011 by El Salvador from the Inside in Food, ODD

2 responses to “Don’t heat Cashew Shells on the Stove / No cocine Pepas por la Estufa

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  1. This is good to know and a hilarious story!! I’ve always wanted to toast pepas or watch someone toast them. Once someone from the US was here when we were picking marañones. He bit into the pepa just to see what it tasted like– not good!! He said it was really hot. I’ve also heard they’re slightly toxic so that definitely wasn’t a good idea.

  2. yeah, just toast them in a fire and hang out UPwind. not tasty at all until out of that bitter shell. I’m curious how long it takes nature to break down the shell and let the inner seed sprout seeing how darn hard that thing is.

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