Tropical Chicken Salad

Have you ever thought about why you never see raw cashews in the store?

Cashew apples by Alex Popovkin, on Flickr (CC license)

Well, there are three reasons. The minor ones are that the nut of the Anacardium occidentale is attached to an edible fruit and is tricky to extract from its shell. The major reason is that raw cashew shells contain an irritating resin that will cause a reaction on the skin something like a more aggressive poison ivy.

The resin is neutralized in the roasting process, but the side-effect is clouds of caustic smoke. So for everybody’s safety, we tend not to stock them in grocery stores.

As for the recipe, it hasn’t changed much since the May 9, 1938 edition of The Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette:

Tropical Chicken Salad
(Lunch Clubs Love It)


3 ripe bananas, diced
1/2 cup diced canned pineapple
1-1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mayonnaise to moisten

Mix bananas and pineapple together. (Pineapple prevents discoloration of bananas.) Add other ingredients and mix well. Serve on crisp lettuce leaves. Garnish, if desired, with chopped nuts and additional mayonnaise. Serves six to eight.


From a box sold in East Moline, Illinois.

Tropical Chicken Salad

2 c. cubed cooked chicken
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 tsp. curry
1 can (20 oz.) chunk pineapple
2 big, firm bananas, sliced
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 c. flaked coconut
3/4 c. salted peanuts or cashews

chicken and celery in large bowl. Combine mayonnaise and curry and mix with chicken. Chill 30 minutes.

Add fruits and coconut.

Sprinkle with nuts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked:*