These hideous monstrosity - if you can believe it - are cashews. They grow on the end of the cashew apple.
Cashew apples are sweet and tangy. Brazilians squeeze them for juice, and Indians ferment the juice into an alcohol. But most of the apples are discarded because they are too delicate to ship. The nut is the only viable cash crop.
Did you also know that the shell of a cashew is toxic? In fact, cashews are in the same plant family as poison ivy. This is why you’ll never eat a raw cashew. They must be steamed or roasted first in order for processors to remove the shell safely.
Even the fumes from the roasting is toxic. Many of the people processing cashews - primarily in India - work in unsafe working conditions because of the dangers of cashews.
I don’t dislike cashews, but I don’t love them either. I’ve eaten them in the past, but not in a long time.
Knowing all of this, I’m kind of glad.