Goa-Cashew-nuts

Visitors to Goa often show keen interest in Goan Cashew Nuts and feni, often making them a must-buy before returning home. Throughout the years, numerous entrepreneurs have explored cashew businesses, many of which operate seasonally. Traveling along the northern belt of Goa, one encounters numerous shops adorned with bright lights, enticing passersby to step inside. However, have you ever wondered if you’re purchasing authentic Goan cashew nuts? If you happen to travel during April-May, exploring Urrak and Feni is incredibly fascinating.

Is Goa selling only Goan Cashew nuts?

The simple answer is no. Throughout the years, I’ve encountered various types of cashew nuts from different regions of India, all vying for recognition in Goa under the label of Goan cashews. However, as a cashew nut enthusiast, I must assert that, while it may be a topic open to debate, Goan cashew nuts undeniably possess a superior taste compared to their counterparts. I’ve personally conducted tasting sessions comparing cashew nuts from one such state, Kerala, and Goan varieties of the same kind, and the disparity is evident.

It’s not just about refinement; the taste itself sets them apart. While some may argue that Kerala cashew nuts are more affordable, and indeed they sometimes are, the ultimate determinant is the flavor. Next time you wish to know the difference between Goan and Non-Goan, try the cashew nut taste and you’ll know it yourself.

Herald Goa reports one such incident I mentioned above.

Goan-cashew-nuts-herald
Source: Herald Goa

Check out this video by MyGoa featuring Minister Ravi Naik, where he discusses the issue of sellers in Goa offering cashews from Vietnam and other countries. It’s not common for a minister to address this, but it’s a crucial point. Goa needs to preserve and promote its own cashews. For some time now, Goan vendors have been selling cashew nuts from various states and countries, but this trend isn’t beneficial for Goa. Promoting Goan cashews should be a top priority. Lower prices don’t always mean better quality.

 

Some vendors even keep cashew stacks open in their shops, claiming they just arrived from the depot. There have been instances of shopkeepers being raided for this practice. Here is one recent news regarding the same, covered by Herald Goa.

Goa-Cashew-nuts-Herald-2
Source: Herald Goa

 

 

Many tourists visiting Goa fall into the trap of buying subpar cashew nuts and miss out on the authentic Goan variety. However, there are genuine Goan shops that view cashew nuts not merely as a business but as a passion, offering high-quality, authentic Goan cashew products.

Where do you buy authentic Goan Cashew nuts?

Choosing the right nuts can be tricky. However, for authentic Goan cashews, I recommend these particular cashew depot shops.

U.P Traders: Panaji Goa

They offer factory-fresh cashews of all kinds, and you can be assured of their authenticity. Additionally, they sell Goan sweets like cashew laddoo, cashew bar, cashew chikkis, and various flavored cashews.

 

UP Traders
UP Traders, Panaji Goa

 

My personal favorites are the flavored Goan cashew nuts, perfectly seasoned with a blend of spices. The roasted salted ones are the top choice. If you’re looking for authentic Goan cashew nuts, try the roasted variety with skin, which need to be peeled before eating. Although many find peeling them annoying, these are actually the best Goan cashews.

UP Traders, Panaji Goa
UP Traders, Panaji Goa

The same shop also specializes in Goan feni and seasonal cashew Urrak, making it a one-stop solution for your cashew and feni needs.

Here is the Store Location Link

Zantye Cashew Nuts, Panaji Goa:

For those interested in exporting cashews, consider Zantyes, another renowned Goan brand that has been in the business for decades. They offer extensive export services and have an online portal.

 

Did you know that Goan Cashew Nuts is NOT a Goan by Birth?

Cashew was introduced to Goa by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Last year, Goan cashew (kernel) successfully secured the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, marking it as a heritage product with a long legacy. This year, Goa Forest Development Corporation Chairperson Deviya Rane mentioned that although cashew was brought to Goa from Brazil, only Goa has the GI tag for feni. She emphasized that only Goans know the authentic process of making feni, and many other countries are keen to learn this technique.

Cashew Culture Promotion at Cashew Fest Goa 2024

Goa has been vigorously promoting its cashew culture, and one such initiative is the second season of Cashew Fest Goa 2024. Following the success of the 2023 edition, the event took place from May 10th to 12th, showcasing cashew-based alcoholic beverages and local foods. Cashew Fest Goa 2024 is a vibrant blend of tradition, culture, and community empowerment, aiming to support businesses, particularly women-led rural self-help groups while celebrating Goan cultural heritage.

 

Goa-cashew-fest-2024
The Cashew Fest Goa 2024 ( Image credit: Facebook – Cashew Fest Goa )

The three-day festival, organized by the Goa Forest Development Corporation, highlighted various aspects of Goa’s rich heritage. There were technical sessions, and panel discussions on modern cashew production technologies. The event also featured antique cashew-related exhibits. The Cashew Fest Goa 2024 drew participants from a variety of sectors within the cashew industry, including distillers, agriculturists, technical experts, farmers, retailers, and academicians.

https://www.facebook.com/CashewFestGoa
The Cashew Fest Goa 2024 ( Image credit: Facebook – Cashew Fest Goa )

One of the festival’s highlights was the live feni distillation in the middle of the arena, where attendees could watch and learn about the feni-making process. There were also demonstrations of the latest machines used for separating cashew fruit and nuts, followed by the serving of roasted cashew nuts to the public.

You can read more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/CashewFestGoa

By Prajyot Mainkar

πŸ’« Professional problem solver. πŸ‘” Entrepreneur. πŸ”₯ Unapologetic creator. πŸ₯³ Lifelong thinker. Proud food advocate. 🏝️ Travel geek. β˜• Ex-Coffee Addict Fondly known as the Android Man of Goa

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