Cashew nuts are commonly used in Indian cuisine, whole for garnishing sweets or curries, or ground into a paste that forms a base of sauces for curries (e.g., korma), or some sweets (e.g., kajubarfi). It is also used in powdered form in the preparation of several Indian sweets and desserts. In Goan cuisine, both roasted and raw kernels are used whole for making curries and sweets. Cashew nuts are also used in Thai and Chinese cuisine, generally in whole form. In the Philippines, cashew is a known product of Antipolo, and is eaten with suman. Pampanga also has a sweet dessert called turrones de casuy, which is cashew marzipan wrapped in white wafers. In Indonesia, roasted and salted cashew nut is called kacangmete or kacangmede, while the cashew apple is called jambumonyet (translates in English to monkey rose apple).
In Mozambique, bolo polana is a cake prepared using powdered cashews and mashed potatoes as the main ingredients. This dessert is popular in South Africa
In Brazil, the cashew fruit juice is popular. In Panama, the cashew fruit is cooked with water and sugar for a prolonged time to make a sweet, brown, paste-like dessert called dulce de marañón, with marañón as a Spanish name for cashew.
In the 21st Century, cashew cultivation increased in several African countries to meet the demands for manufacturing cashew milk, a plant milk alternative to dairy milk.
The shell of the cashew nut contains oil compounds which may cause contact dermatitis similar in severity to that of poison ivy, primarily resulting from the phenolic lipids, anacardic acid and cardanol.Due to the possible dermatitis, cashews are typically not sold in the shell to consumers.Readily and inexpensively extracted from the waste shells,cardanol is under research for its potential applications in nanomaterials and biotechnology.