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Thailand - Industry and Agriculture

- The Cashew Nut

The cashew nut is grown throughout northern Thailand as a cash crop.

Besides being a between meal snack food, the roasted cashew nut is one of the favourite appetizers served in Chinese restaurants throughout Thailand. The claw or kidney shaped nut is called Mamuang Himmaphan in Thai. Mamuang means mango - The cashew tree is related to the mango tree. Himmaphan is an ancient forest area of northern India where the tree was first found.

There are two legends as to how the nut became to be exposed at the end of the 'fruit':

The first relates to King Phra Ruang - who was eating this small mango fruit one day and as he bit into it, he hurt a tooth. King Phra Ruang was a powerful king and what he said - went! 'Curse this fruit - the nut should be on the outside!' he shouted and from that day on it was so.

The second legend says - There was a flute player in the forest of Himmaphan and the music he played was so sweet, it charmed the nuts out of the fruit so the nuts could hear it better. As the nuts listened the fruit healed behind them and when the music stopped the nuts could not retreat!

Which do you believe?




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