Foodies and curiosity seekers alike will be heading to the tiny village of Crooked Tree in Belize for the 2018 Cashew Festival. Held over the weekend of May 12-13, 2018, the Crooked Tree Cashew Festival will feature a wide range of delicious cashew and cashew-inspired dishes, including jams, cakes, pies, and stews. And one of the top attractions is the famous cashew wine brewed from the fruit of the cashew tree rather than the cashew nut.
Crooked Tree is home to fewer than 1,000 residents, but the fertility of the soil and the climate make it the perfect place for cashew trees to grow. First held in 1992, the Cashew Festival has slowly become one of the top events on the Belizean calendar. Local chefs will be competing to produce delicious cashew-themed meals, and, of course, there will be lots of live music, games, and fun activities for everyone to enjoy.
Cashews are world famous for their rich, buttery texture and delicious taste. But many people are unaware that the cashew nut grows on the outside of a large fruit. The cashew nut is actually the seed of the cashew tree, and it cannot be eaten directly in its raw state. But after being slow-roasted over a fire and a little salt added, the cashew becomes a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, nutty goodness that goes great with a cold beer or a glass of fresh-squeezed fruit juice.
The village of Crooked Tree is located on an island inside the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary (CTWS)). A vast, 16,000-acre (6,500-ha) nature reserve, the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is managed by the Audobon Society. Home to an incredible concentration of avian species, including rare and endangered birds like the Jabiru stork, the CWTS is one of Belize’s most beautiful, untamed wild areas.
If you’re interested in attending this year’s Cashew Festival in Crooked Tree, one of the best places to stay is Black Orchid Resort. Located in the idyllic village of Burrell Boom just a short distance from the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Black Orchid Resort offers guests lovely suites and rooms overlooking the Old Belize River.
Black Orchid Resort has its own freshwater swimming pool, professional spa center, and a gourmet restaurant popular with locals and visitors alike. Black Orchid Resort also organizes tours to other popular attractions in the country, including ancient Maya sites, animal sanctuaries, and snorkeling and scuba diving excursions on the Belize Barrier Reef.