Brittle, brittle, brittle, brittle … ah, a peanut! John Spalding just didn’t like the brittle he was seeing in the marketplace and since he really loves brittle, and his mom had a great recipe, he decided to make his own. Now the Brittle Brothers in Goodlettsville are booming with a brittle that holds as many nuts as possible. As we head into brittle season, John explains how he makes the brittle and what it has taken to get where he is today.
The mystery of cashews
In the Brittle podcast, John Spalding told us that cashews don’t grow in America. So, where are they grown?
The Christian Science Monitor says: “The cashew nut—native to Brazil and now grown extensively in Africa, India, and Vietnam—is a readily available kidney-shaped nut popular with eaters all over the world. But, not as well understood, is that a single cashew actually grows out the bottom of a cashew apple, which is about three times the size of the nut. Unlike other nuts, the cashew—which is actually a seed—cannot be bought in a shell, because the cashew’s shell is toxic. Due to this toxicity in the lining of the shell, many Latin Americans and West Indians ate the cashew apple and threw the nut away.”
Biologically, Cashews are related to pistachios, mangos and poison ivy. The poisonous part of the cashew is the same stuff that makes poison ivy “poison” and is also found in the mango plant.
Nutritionally, if you’re watching your weight, you’ll want to limit your cashew munching. Cashews are high in calories. 100 g of nuts provide 553 calories.
On the plus side, cashews are abundant sources of essential minerals. Manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium are especially concentrated in them. A handful of cashew nuts a day in the diet would provide enough of these minerals and may help prevent deficiency diseases.