Sunday, July 23, 2006

Did you know...

...that cashews are distant relatives of...mangoes? WHAT?! It's true- according to Alton Brown of the cooking show "Good Eats." We love that show. Anyway- I just thought that was so bizarre. How does he trace that family tree?


Aaron S. said...

How very peculiar.

Isaac Demme said...

I had a hard time believing it so I looked it up.

Cashews (Anacardium occidentale) are indeed in the same family (Anicardiaceae) as the mangoes (Mangifera spp.), but are in different genera.

Anacardiacaea is a pretty big family with 60-70 genera and 800-900 species.

Also of interest is that the genus Rhus is in the same family. Rhus includes all the sumacs, including poison sumac, and also poison ivy and poison oak.

Looking at this from a taxonomic point of view is interesting enough, but it raises even more interesting questions for creation biology.

Creationary biologists have proposed the hypothesis that at least in animals, distinct created groups ("baramins") fall at close to the size and location of families in traditional Linnaean classification.
One question that still lies unanswered is whether the same could hold true for plants.

Some plant families are humongous and very diverse. Rosaceae is big enough, with a good 3-4 thousand species in well over a hundred genera (including roses, apples, peaches, and strawberries). Poaceae is gargantuan, with over 600 genera and 10,000 species (including all the grains and grasses -- a good 20% of all vegetation).

To me this raises two very exciting questions. First, did God create plant "kinds" with a large overlapping field of diversity and potential for variation right from the start? Second, how did defense mechanisms like the "poison" of poison ivy develop after the curse?

Plenty of food for thought there.
In the mean time I intend to enjoy some cashews.

CARmelo said...

Man o man....I went to add a "wise" comment and the skimmed Isaac's looooong comment and decided why not...even if it looks insanely inane next to hear it is...
It is a little known fact that Alton Brown's Grandmother from his mother side is part of the family tree....Mango being her older sister and cashew being the bratty little brother. The reason that none seem to resemble each other is because their father was killed in a horrible tire plant accident that rendered their poor mother helpless to fend for her they all became wards of the state. The family was torn apart when Alton's grandmother was adopted by The Schneider family whose other adopted child was allergic to cashews. They, the Schneiders, believed also that fruits and man should not cohabitate so they only took Alton Brown's grandmother...but if you look up his grandmothers's birth certificate you will see that her birth name was Cashkevicus was....a ancient Latvian family whose forefathers were infamous mad-scinetist. What about Cashew and Mango??? Well, Cashew never knew his first name so he went by his last name..Cashevicus....and that was changed when he went through customs at Ellis Island back in 1876....and if you travel to Lativia you will find out that Mayngoe was once a popular name but has went the way of such names as Edna and Edith in the U.S.
So that my "brief" version of the family tree.

Smiles said...

Well my little bit of insignificant information is that the cashew shell is poisonous. That is why you never find little pieces of shell in your can of cashews.

Claire said...

Or if you do, you never live to tell the tale, Smiles!

WOW. Who would have thought that such a tiny post would garner such a voluminous response. Zac and Melo...I think perhaps you have just won some award or made a new record, at least.

Shari said...

I'm cracking up at these comments! Brilliant!

I have nothing to say after all that, except that I love cashews. And mangoes.