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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Antipolo Church and Cashew Nuts Sold on the Street

This is the famous Antipolo church in Antipolo city in the Philippines. People from different parts of Metro Manila go here to hear mass, which is why it it almost always crowded on Sundays. Because of the number of people who hear mass, the receiving of holy communion is allowed on the church grounds where lay ministers go around with the Sacramental bread for the faithful to accept. It can be hot, especially in summer, but the trip for Catholic worshipers is worthwhile.

In the street that fronts the church, vendors sell all sorts of sweets and fruits. There are lots of cashew nuts being sold and a few vendors even sell fresh cashew apples. Antipolo is one city in the Philippines where you can find cashew nuts and fruits in abundance and . Elsewhere, you may find cashew nuts (which can be expensive), but rarely cashew apple fruits, which do not sell well.

Cashew Trivia

Unknown to many people, the cashew apple is only a pseudo fruit and is essentially just the enlarged portion of the branch that holds the fruiting organ. It can be eaten raw when ripe. It's fruit acid is highly astringent in the mouth but it is high in Vitamin C. It's not usually used for cooking, but by the taste of it, it may be a good substitute for kamias or kalamias as it is called in some parts of the country. The cashew apple may be turned into a sweet preserve or wine, which is popular in Africa. The cashew apple is rich in tannins which cause it to ripen quickly after picking.

The cashew nut is extracted from the bean-shaped shell (which is really the actual fruit) by burning the fruit in hot coals. Be warned that the oil and fumes from the shell of the nut (not the apple) is toxic and can cause allergies in people. The smoke reportedly readily kills fowl. DO NOT INHALE CASHEW SHELL NUT FUME OR ALLOW IT TO COME IN CONTACT WITH YOUR SKIN. Also, do not touch the oil from the shell because it can cause skin irritation. Wash your hands thoroughly if this happens.

In spit of the toxicity of the oil in the cashew nut shell, the oil from the edible nut itself can be used to treat warts and other skin growths. If you chew some raw cashew nuts and place the resulting poultice on a pesky wart regularly, you will discover that your wart will dry up and fall away eventually. Do exercise caution when chewing, because if you chew for too long, the inside of your mouth may experience the same drying and exfoliating effect of the cashew nut oil. DO NOT MISTAKE THE CASHEW SHELL FOR THE CASHEW NUT (which is inside the shell). THE CASHEW SHELL IS POISONOUS; THE CASHEW NUT, ON THE OTHER HAND IS THE ONE THAT'S EDIBLE.

If having to deal with the toxic cashew shell is too much for you, then you can just use the sap from the cashew apple on your skin. You can slice the cashew apple thinly and use the slices to massage your face with. The juice will serve as a mild astringent to your skin. But again, exercise caution and do not overdo it. Try the sap on a small patch of skin on your arm first for a few days before trying it out on your face. See if you do not have any allergic reactions.

It's a fact that some people are allergic to cashew sap and you could be one of them! Also see if the sap produces discoloration or darkens your skin as a result of its tannins that darken when exposed to air. Generally, the sap should give a mild tightening and exfoliating effect on your skin. But use it at your own risk! It's always better to consult a dermatologist than to experiment with topical things you know nothing about.

Nuts, Peanuts and Soy Allergy Translation Card - 
Translated in Tagalog (The Philippines) or any of 67 languages

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