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May 16, 2022

Cashew Festival Returns!

As the country returns to the pre-pandemic way of life, there is a resurgence of concerts, unimpeded movement, and fun-filled family activities. Small entrepreneurs were significantly affected by the slowdown of economic activities as events like food and cultural festivals went on pause. But now, these festivals are back on schedule, and popular events like tacos festival, lobster fest, and more are being planned across the country. Over the weekend, the Crooked Tree came to life again as the popular – and delicious – Cashew Festival returned – two days of people enjoying cashew in all forms! News Five’s Duane Moody was there and found out that the two-year break has not been all bad. 


Verna Samuels, Bird’s Eye View Jams and Jellies

“The pandemic. That wasn’t nice to us at all. But we survived and we are here after two years.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

After a two-year hiatus, the annual Crooked Tree Cashew Fest was back on the agenda of activities this weekend. People from all over the country converge in the village to experience village life – the amazing fire hearth foods and the various cashew products. Chef Sean Kuylen was among those who attended. 


Sean Kuylen

Sean Kuylen, Chef

“Taking a fruit and turning it into a masterpiece, but you know what, these villagers have been doing that for years and years. Make we talk about food. I dah di food man and I love culture and people – I call it people, food and culture – and this is everything that you could…my whole life is right here. So I love this boss. Pandemic, everybody tired ah hear that word, ih mi gone pan wah pause fi two years and everybody just happy fi deh back out yah again. Listen right yah back ah me, dehn have cashew fudge, cashew wine, stew cashew, cashew oatmeal cookie, cashew bread. I see some foreigners over here, and she neva know cashew dah wah fruit. It’s called the devil fruit – di only one of the few fruits ina di whole world weh di seed deh actually outside. All dehn know about dah Planters brand in cashew ina nut, but we have it as a fruit.”


Verna Samuels of Bird’s Eye View Jams and Jellies was out in full force. Every and any cashew product you could think about was on sale. Samuels says that this year, there were issues with sourcing the fruit. 


Verna Samuels

Verna Samuels

“We have the cashew cake, black and white, we have the cashew oatmeal cookies, cashew fudge. And then we have the cashew bread and bun and the difference between the bun and the bread – of course the bun is sweet, but it has the fruit and the nut. But the bread only has the nut. This year, I don’t know if it is just the pandemic or if it’s the change in the weather and you know, even the fruit trees seem to be confused right now. So the cashews didn’t do so well. But what happened, they produced good seeds, but not good fruit and we mostly work with the fruit. So we are a little bit disappointed with that part of it. So we had to use our thinking cap and turn things around a little and so we still came up with some products.”


One businesswoman who is always at the cashew fest is Anna Quiroz with her delicious wines. While she was affected by the pandemic, Quiroz says that she developed new flavours that have been aged longer during the time. For twelve and fifteen dollars, you can get a bottle of wine. 


Anna Quiroz

Anna Quiroz, Owner, Anna’s Local Fruit Wines

“People are sampling everything. But we have some new products here. We have like the hog plum wine and the sea grape. I know you like the sea grape one – that’s your favourite. But because we have been locked down for so long, I have some blackberry [wine] here that is over four years and cashew [wine] four years. I make my wines pretty good – not too sweet, not too dry and so people like it like that especially when they have to drink it now out in the sun.

We have like nine different varieties out here today and I have more because I make like guava, the nanchee which is the craboo; we have the cassava.”


Duane Moody

“So get them now before dehn finish?”


Anna Quiroz




Verna Samuels

“When you have a two-year break, you get to think about some things more deeply. So we came up with a few new products, like the cashew syrup and we have improved on it. We love how it came out. It’s good for pancakes, waffles, fry jacks and also the pineapple sweet and sour pepper sauce.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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