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Let’s Talk Cashews (And Poison Ivy?)

Although cashews can make a great, creamy, dairy-free substitute (great for making “cheese” sauces or “cheese”cakes or super creamy “nice” cream, we don’t use cashews (or peanuts) at our bakery and here’s why:


Cashews are the second most common nut allergy out there, second to - you guessed it - peanuts.



What’s funny, is neither peanuts nor cashews are actually nuts. Peanuts, which actually grow underground, are considered legumes. And cashews are botanically considered a “drupe” (think stone fruit).

Other Interesting Facts About Cashews

A cashew grows at the end of a “cashew apple” in a hard shell (Google it! It looks pretty funny!), protected by a poison ivy type toxin called urushiol (Did you know cashews are actually part of the poison ivy family?).

After being shelled, cashews must be heat treated (by roasting, boiling, or steaming) to deactivate/remove the oil. That means that even “raw” cashews you buy are not really raw, so they don't contain active urushiol (“raw” cashews are actually steamed or boiled).


Another interesting fact is that you can also find urushiol in the shell of raw pistachios, and in the skin of some mangos. So if you find you have an allergy/sensitivity to cashews, you may also have a sensitivity to mangos & pistachios.


We happen to have a cashew/pistachio sensitivity in my extended family. I get a tingly throat every time I eat something with cashews, and I immediately break out in a rash after pistachios, so I usually try to avoid both of those. And I’m certainly going to pay more attention next time I eat mango…


Do you have a sensitivity to one, two or all three of these? I’d be interested to know. (I feel like pistachio is the number three "nut" allergy, based on inquiries we get here at the bakery).

4 comentários


Convidado:
15 de ago. de 2023

I have a severe allergic reaction to cashews and pistachios. I will get a reaction just by touching them but if i eat one and it goes untreated, I would die. This is fascinating to know so that I can be aware outside, thanks!

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Convidado:
04 de jun. de 2023

My son is severely allergic to cashews and pistachios. Immediate projectile vomiting which call for an epi shot. I now wonder if he should ever even try mango. I kinda would be scared to

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Convidado:
02 de mai. de 2022

Cashews and pistachios, both very high on my IGG antibody test. Tingly mouth and excruciating abdominal pain!

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Convidado:
02 de mai. de 2022

Wow. Interesting information. I didn't know all of that about cashews. From the protective "poison" layer to the "raw" cashews not authentically raw cashews. I read somewhere about cashews from the world's largest exported cashew country in the world (i.e., India) have young children working to break the nut due to world high demand. It's so sad. It's one big reason why I don't buy cashews very much anymore. -Kristie V.

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