PHUKET TRAVEL DIARIES: Nuts for cashews

On my list of Must Do’s in Phuket is to buy lots and lots of cashews. Cashews are a famous local product of Phuket. I use them for making banana bread and pukkolla, instead of walnuts. Check out the cashew shopping we did and the  factory store we bought them in after the jump.

Outside the Sri Bhurapha Orchid Phuket Cashew factory store

The giant cashew by the entrance is hard to miss!

(image: Life’s Like That)

Our driver brought us to Sri Bhurapha Orchid, a famous Cashew factory store or showroom. Cashews sold here were not as cheap as I expected, but we didn’t have a lot of time to look for cheaper places and time was money with our car rental and limited time. (It took us an hour to get here from Sala Resort and we weren’t even near Phuket Town yet!)

Still cheaper than Jakarta so we sorta went crazy. It took us a long time too because there were so many to see, taste and choose from!

Cashew apple juice at the Sri Bhurapha Orchid Phuket Cashew factory store

Free taste of the cashew apple juice. Found it weird but it was good to try.

Cashew processing demo at Sri Bhurapha Orchid Phuket Cashew factory store

Cashews are manually opened one by one and it’s no easy task, that’s why they’re more expensive than peanuts and (sometimes) almonds. Aside from the fact that each cashew apple only bears one nut.

The task of processing cashew nuts is no simple affair. Formed inside a kidney-shaped casing, the cashew nut is suspended in poisonous oil, which burns the skin. These toxins are initially reduced by boiling the intact shells, but the manual labour of cracking open the shells must be done with care. Workers wrap plastic around their fingertips to prevent the black oil from burning their skin. All poison is expelled during the next stage when the nuts are baked over a low temperature for 12 hours. A speckled skin is then peeled off, before a grading procedure separates the nuts into groups of whole nuts, half nuts and pieces.

- thaiwave.com

Free tasting at the Sri Bhurapha Orchid Phuket Cashew factory store

The chocolate coated ones (pictured) were not as good as expected. Good thing there was free sample tasting, which helped us decide.

Kinds of cashews I could remember:

  • Plain
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Spicy
  • Chocolate-coated
  • Crispy
  • Crispy-spicy
  • Honey-sesame (like peanut brittle)
  • And many more

Phew! On the way to pay we discovered that they sold more than cashews. So many local delicacies of local fruits, nuts, veggies, fish and meats! It was  crazy the many, many ways they could prepare jackfruit, durian, coconut meat. (There was even beef floss, cured fish, etc.) It was SO hard not to want to try and buy everything! (All we wanted were cashews!!!)

Durian Chips at the Sri Bhurapha Orchid Phuket Cashew factory store

Durian Chips

Different kind of Jackfruit chips at the Sri Bhurapha Orchid Phuket Cashew factory store

Different kind of Jackfruit chips

2 Kilos of cashews and some roasted coconut candy from the Sri Bhurapha Orchid Phuket Cashew factory store

In the end we came out with 2 Kilos of cashews and some roasted coconut candy.  (Took a lot of self-control, but we managed to stay focused!) =P

Just to give you an idea the 1 Kilo plain cashews (lower left) were 390 baht and each pack of the crispy ones (lower right) were 150 baht. The most expensive ones were the honey-sesame ones (I can’t remember the price any more) which we bought for my hubby’s dad. They were so good and totally worth it though!

Learn more interesting info about cashews and Sri Bhurapha Orchid here.

Sri Bhurapa Orchid

I wasn’t able to get the address and so far I’m getting several different addresses off the net. The latest one’s are these two below. Will verify at the soonest and let you know!

  • 62/2-4 Moo 1, Ko Kaeo, Muang Phuket, Phuket, 83000
  • Tel: 66.0-7621-3548
  • 7/1 Khuang Road, Baan Tinkhao, off Chao Fa East Rd, Phuket 83000
  • Tel: 076 213465 & 225936     Fax : 076 244788

Come back tomorrow for photos of our visit to Wat Chalong Temple!

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