Surely you know “Cashew nuts”…
Well, “Jagus” is what we call it here in Brunei, and “Gajus” is what you’ll find in the dictionary.
Gillian, a dear friend of mine, used to stay over at our place by the seaside, several times. During her last stay, she told me she’d never seen the real “cashew nuts”, at which point I told her they weren’t “nuts” but the external seeds of the cashew fruit. It suddenly dawned on me that all the while she’d been there she had absolutely no idea that the big trees around the house were in fact cashew trees. They weren’t bearing fruit then, mind.
So, Gillian luv, here’s a pic of the fruit.
It all boils down to the tree…
After a bit of “the birds and the bees” affair, pollination occurs.
A few weeks later, this little “baby jagus” appears…
A few more weeks later it grows a little bigger and turns a pinkish-orange hue.
And the fruit just smells very very peachy sweet. However, you’ll be surprised to know that despite its good looks and pleasant smell, the fruit itself isn’t actually very popular.
The flesh is actually very juicy and sweet, but it leaves a very bitter aftertaste that would make you want to pull out your tongue and chop it off with a spoon. But braver souls march forth and squeeze the juice out of the cashew slices, dip it in hot belacan sauce, and stick it in their mouths, tongues intact.
But here’s one thing I love, apart from the Kacang Jagus or Cashew nuts- the young shoots that you can have as ulam or side salad or a wrap for belacan or cincalu with loads of birdseye chili.
But for all these things I’ve told you about jagus, I have not the slightest clue how the “Cashew nut” comes into being. Time to Wiki, I suppose.