By: Savannah Audrey
As you drive along the Colombo-Kandy road passing Nittambuwa, a few kilometers away, lies a street display: Kajugama. From a distance, you will spot the vibrant colors of the clothes of the female sellers (Kaju girls as they are fondly called). Kajugama is known for its beautiful girls in traditional dresses of cloth and jacket and long hair who will greet you with vibrant smiles.
It is said that the Portuguese sailors are the ones who introduced cashew to Sri Lanka. Cashew is something that no one can resist and is used in enhancing the flavor of various dishes. Kaju curry, a delicacy in Sri Lankan cuisine, is a must at most functions held in the country which serves rice and curry. It is not only tasty but is also loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Cashew cultivation involves a lot of risks. The shelling process is laborious and time consuming.
The cashew season in Sri Lanka begins in March and continues through April. Vendors in Kajugama get their nuts from Wariyapola, Wanathavillu, Wewagama, Giriulla, Kalpitiya, Puttalam, Ampara, Mahiyangana, Galgamuwa, Galewela, and villages in the Eastern Province. The global cashew economy is booming and Sri Lanka has to compete with some of the largest cashew exporters in the world including Africa, Brazil, Vietnam, and neighboring India.