Our aspiring city recently took another small step forward in modernity with the opening of the region's very first Whole Foods. Organic produce, healthy meals, and weird foods galore. One late night trip resulted in enough bounty to satisfy my penchant for the strange for the next couple months... or at least it will have to considering these uneasy economic times.
My first sampling from the lot was a carton of cashew juice. Cashews, like almonds, are the seeds of a drupe and not actually a nut although they are commonly often referred to as such. This juice is made from the fruit part of the cashew which, with the seed dangling down from its nether regions, is a strange looking beast indeed. The fruit is high in tannins and rather astringent so it requires a bit of processing prior to consumption. As a result it is rarely consumed in this part of the world.
The cashew fruit contains a high levels of vitamin C and therefore the juice box goes on to list a variety of health claims linked to the indigenous use of the cashew fruit in South America and vitamin C in general.
Poured into a glass, the juice looks strikingly similar to commercially available grapefruit juice but expresses no distinct odor. Upon my first sip I actually yelled out in surprise. This stuff is incredibly acidic, like a very tart orange juice, an effect which is exacerbated by the addition of citric acid.
Beyond the first mouthful, the taste starts to mellow out a bit and begins to take on the characteristics of a poor quality orange juice with an aftertaste of nuts. This aftertaste is quite unsettling at first but gets better with time. Still, it gives one the sensation of having a mouthful of nuts and can remain a little unpleasant.
I know, it sounds bad, but the overall combination of the strange qualities makes for interesting experience and I'm far from dreading drinking the second one I purchased in a buy-one-get-one-free deal.
Addendum: This stuff gets better every time I drink it. I'm at a point where I'd be willing to alternate my daily intake of orange juice with cashew juice. Shocking at first but an easy taste to acquire and enjoy.