Cashew Nuts, together with cashew apples, are produced by cashew tree, Anacardium occidentale, native to South America. The official name Anacardium, from the Greek, refers to the nut.
Cashew apple, marañón in Central America, the fruit of the cashew tree, is edible and has a strong sweet smell and a sweet taste. Its pulp is very juicy, but the skin is really fragile, so it is not suitable for transportation. But what we mainly know as the product of the cashew tree is a kidney-shaped nut, a seed growing in a shell s(containing an allergenic resin, a potent skin irritant) at the end of the cashew apple. Cashew Nuts and apples are a good source, respectively, of monounsaturated fat, antioxidants and mineral salts, and vitamins (cashew apples contain five times more vitamin C than an orange).
In cooking, Cashew Nuts can be eaten raw, roasted and salted, just salted, or as ingredient of Eastern cuisine dishes. For example, Cashew Nut chicken, a popular dish in Chinese and Thai cooking.
Fun fact: Cashew Nut tree and shell derivatives can be used in many common applications, from lubricants to paints and ink, for snake-bites and other folk remedies.