The Cashew/Legume Debate

December 28, 2005 at 8:38 PM | Food, Nerd, Random | 1 Comment

Mr. Peanut, Times Square (Roving Rube)Somehow, my cousins and I found ourselves in a heated debate about the classification of the cashew over Christmas break. They were all saying that it was a nut, but I was like “nah, I think it’s a legume.” I’m not sure how I came up with this bold statement, but I think I’d heard something along those lines before from somebody. I don’t really even know what a legume is. Or what makes a nut a nut.

I figure, just because Planter’s sells cashews and they often come mixed with other nuts… does that necessarily mean that the cashew itself is a nut too? I mean, things don’t always fall under the category that you would expect. Like tomatoes… they say it’s a fruit, even though it’s always showing up with other real vegetables. You know, that sort of thing.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), we didn’t have access to the internet, so this debate went on for a little while, with no real concrete arguments brought up for either side. The internet is wonderful for answering these sorts of questions… a vast world of knowledege available at your disposal so you don’t need to be or know the foremost expert in botany or culinary terminology in order to settle life-altering episodes such as the “is the cashew a nut or a legume” debate. I guess people used to go consult the local library for these sorts of things, but who’s got time for that anymore?

And so I looked it up when I got back. It turns out, yes, the cashew is a nut… But wait! The peanut is the one that is actually a legume!! That’s got to count for something!

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  1. I just saw a preview for Seinfield over a very similar argument as this… Maybe that’s where you orginally got your argument to start with.

    Comment by Martin — March 22, 2006 #

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