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Kollam- The land of Cashews
Kollam- The land of Cashews.
Kollam, earlier known as Quilon, is one among the 14 districts of Kerala state, India. About thirty percent of this district is covered by the Ashtamudi Lake. Ashtamudi backwaters paves a gateway to other places like Alappuza etc. The eight-hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience on the backwaters of Kerala. Kollam is directly connected with arabian sea. Earlier times foreign trades are through this connection. Kerala govt new projects initiates a new port in Kollam, which helps for modern trade across countries. The area had mercantile relationship with Phoenicians and the Romans . Thevalakara and Thekkumbagam panchyaths together had made the very ancient Korekini (sea pointed inland) Kollam port of Tarsish even in 1500 BC.
Kollam is very famous with the cashew nut Industries. One of the oldest ports on the Malabar Coast, Kollam was once the port of international spice trade. Big amount of cashew exports are carried over each year. Kollam mainly focusing on processing the cashews. It gaves lot employment to the rural peoples in kollam. The categorization of cashews are carried out manually with those peoples who works there. Its really interesting to watch this process. The process starts from peeling the cashew to packing. Cashew nuts are available in different size categories. 180,210,240,320,450etc. Size categorization of cashewnuts follows in pound units. That is, if we take a 180 category cashew nut. the number of cashew nuts is 180 per pound unit. This way the size calculation of all sizes are measured. Huge boarmas in each factories are used to keep the cashews crispness before packing and exporting.
Cashew and coir are the two other names for which Kollam is famous, that is why it is called as Kollam- the land of cashews. Both provides employment to the people in rural Kollam. Kollam is the main central of India’s cashew trading industry. We can see a huge number of cashew factories in Kollam. Mostly those are situated in Kallumthazam(4km fro Kollam towards Thenmala). India holds second position in cashew production industry and Kollam plays a noticeable role in this. the cashew is a versatile health food with rich of proteins, fats and vitamins to a high degree. Proteins, the tissue builders in our system, steal a large dividend of cashew contents. Cashew kernels contain 21 % of vegetable proteins. The much needed amino acids are present in cashews which are very rare in nuts. Nutritionally they stand at par with milk, eggs and meat.Indian cashews are natures proven finest diet. Its an all time all place snack. Eating nuts can be very beneficial as long as they replace other foods and are not just added to the diet. Cashewnut kernel contains 47% fat, but 82% of this fat is unsaturated fatty acids. This is important because no dietician will prescribe a saturated fat packet to any one due to its high cholesterol content. Unsaturated fat eliminates the possibility of, and actually lowers, the cholesterol level in blood.
The most prominent vitamins in cashew are Vitamin A, D and E. Many people mistakenly believe that cashew contain cholesterol. The fact is that there is no cholesterol in nuts since it is a plant product. Cashew kernel is a rich source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus and iron. They protect the human nervous system. It has a very low content of carbohydrates, almost as low as 1% of soluble sugar which means that you are privileged to a sweet taste without worrying about excess calories. Cashew keeps your waist trim and mouth busy. Cashew nuts do not add to obesity and help control diabetes. It is a good appetizer, an excellent nerve tonic, a steady stimulant and a body builder. All this in addition to an exotic taste.
Cashew nuts, along with other tree nuts, have been a vital source of nutrients for centuries. Nuts, like grains and legumes, are seeds filled with nutrients that are designed by nature to direct and enhance the development of life.
No wonder why we call Kollam- The land of Cashews! What we call other than this such a district which produces this much healthy and delicious nut.