Maranon is the Salvadoran name for the cashew fruit. The cashew fruit, or "cashew apple" as some people call it, derives its name from the Portuguese name caju, which derives its name from the indigenous Tupi name acaju. The cashew fruit goes by many other names as well such as: anacando (Spain), castana de cajuen (Argentina and Chile), and of course the name maranon, which is from Central America.
The tree of the cashew fruit is a type of tropical evergreen that is native to northeast Brazil, specifically the Guayanas region, although the trees are now grown all over the tropics. The cashew apples, known for their bright red and yellow colors, are actually a type of accessory pseudo carp, or fake fruit, produced by the tree. The actual fruit of the tree grows at the bottom of the cashew apple in a small kidney like shape, and it is of this true fruit where the cashew nut is found. This single seed produced by the true fruit is the actual cashew nut. The seed is surrounded by a double shell containing allergenic skin irritants related to toxins found in poison ivy. Roasting the cashews destroys this toxin but the roasting must always be done outside because the smoke can cause severe, life-threatening, reactions in the lungs. People allergic to cashews may also be allergic to mango or pistachio as they are in the same family. Cashews still generally cause less allergic reactions than peanuts however.
The pulp of the cashew apple is very juicy and a typical Salvadoran fruity drink, commonly referred to just as maranon, is made from it. Cashew juice has a strong sweet smell and taste that is somewhere sort of between mango and grapefruit The skin of the cashew apple is very fragile and makes transportation and importation virtually impossible.
Cashews are quite popular in Salvadoran sweets.
Here is a link to two of my recipes that use cashews: