For a lot of nuts, the process of de-shelling before indulging is part of the fun, the effort can make the eventual bite all the more worth it. However, have you ever wondered why cashews are never sold to consumers in their shells?
The reason cashews can never really be sold raw is because the nut could have a potentially deadly consequence. Cashews are in the same family as poison ivy and poison sumac, which means the cashew plant contains powerful chemical irritants.
The cashew seed we all know and love is initially surrounded by a double shell that contains a potent skin irritant, which is chemically related to the allergenic oil, urushiol. This means that the process of de-shelling cashews has to be done properly and not by consumers.