Belize to celebrate popular cashew festival

The delectable cashew continues to be one of the most popular snack nuts for Americans, who have elevated the nut to gourmet status. Those who love cashews should consider a trip to Belize this May 7-9, when English-speaking Caribbean country celebrates this plentiful crop with an array of colourful festivities.The Cashew Festival, now in its twelfth year, takes place at Crooked Tree Village just northwest of Belize City the weekend of May 7, 8, and 9th. Crooked Tree is considered one of the country’s prime areas for nature lovers and a perfect backdrop for this vibrant celebration.It is said that visitors from temperate-zone climates can see more birds here in one day than they are likely to see back home in a year.A bird-lover’s paradise, more than 250 species of birds have been recorded in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and many more are waiting to be discovered. There are numerous trails where visitors can roam to catch a glimpse of a green-backed heron, brilliant Yucatan jay, or the country’s national bird, the keel-billed toucan, of Fruit Loops fame.

The Cashew Festival is a wonderful example of community-driven conservation, for which Belize is well known. The celebration will include lively Punta and salsa music, dancing, storytelling, demonstrations of cabana thatching, folklore performances, and displays of local handicrafts, as well as the crowning of the Miss Cashew QueenThere will be food galore, with demonstrations of the harvesting and preparation of local cashew nuts, a main crop of this area of Belize. The fruits of the cashew trees native to the area are used to make wine, jam and are featured in both raw and roasted forms. Other local favourites, like a wide variety of mango products, can also be sampled.

The Cashew Festival presents a unique opportunity for visitors to learn
first-hand about the many foods and cultures of Belize.