Malabar chestnut (Pachira aquatica) have a taste reminiscent of peanuts when raw, and of cashews or European chestnuts (which they strongly resemble) when roasted.

Malabar Chestnuts

Pachira aquatica is a tropical wetland tree of the mallow family Malvaceae, native to Central and South America where it grows in swamps. It is known by the common names Malabar chestnut, Guiana chestnut, provision tree, saba nut, monguba (Brazil), pumpo (Guatemala) and is commercially sold under the names money tree and money plant. This tree is sometimes sold with a braided trunk and is commonly grown as a houseplant, although more commonly what is sold as a “Pachira aquatica” houseplant is in fact a similar species, P. glabra.

The fruit, a nut is of a brownish colour and can measure up to 12 inches (300 mm) in length and 2.5 inches (64 mm) in diameter. Seeds grow within until such time as the nut bursts, sending the seeds forth and propagating. The nut is edible and often eaten raw or roasted, with a flavor similar to a European chestnut; it may also be ground and made as a hot drink. The fruit itself is not eaten; only its seeds.

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