You eat these every day. They’re spices that make your food taste better, vegetables that are staples of your favorite salads, and nuts that make up your travel mixes. But do you know how they grow, how they’re collected, and how they are processed before you buy them at the store? Read on to find out.
1. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds usually ripen in mid June but are collected in September. It’s at this time that the leaves of sesame plants turn yellow and begin to fall. The seeds ripen in little pouches that “pop” when you touch them.
The largest supplier of peanuts are all in South America, but they are also grown in many Post-Soviet countries. They ripen underground, and around the month of May the plant begins to emerge. Collecting peanuts is very similar to collecting potatoes. You dig out the roots and collect peanuts in their natural shells, which are then dried, and their contents are fried and peeled before being sold and served at your local pub.
Cranberries are usually grown in dry, sandy ground in the form of vines. Essentially, it’s very similar to the way grapes are grown, except the cranberry vine is much more accustomed to colder climates. By late September, the first cranberries are ready to be collected. They grow next to the stem of the vine, covered by leaves. Each vine can hold several hundred ruby-colored berries.
The largest exporter of cashews is Brazil, however a lot of it also grows in Indonesia, eastern and southern Africa, India, Iran, etc. What you might not know is that cashews grow on evergreen trees (which means the leaves are never yellow, unless the plant is dying). The trees grow to be around 13 meters tall and up to 30 meters in the tropical belt. It does not require a lot of attention from farmers, but has a particular weakness to cold weather. The ripened fruit is very similar to an apple, which is collected and peeled to reveal the nuts. Peelers must be careful, as the juices from the fruit can cause small burn-like reactions on the skin.