The story of cashew butter has its roots in 16th century Brazil, where Europeans first encountered the nuts. The Portuguese thought cashews were inedible due to a toxic chemical in their shells that irritates the skin. However, Indigenous groups showed the Portuguese how to safely use cashews. Eventually, the nuts made their way back to Europe. Around the turn of the 20th century, cashews (and cashew butter) became popular in America, likely due to the prevalence of John Harvey Kellogg’s nut butters, which were a popular fad at the time. In fact, cashew butter appeared in several advertisements dating to late 19th century. Cashew butter was also mentioned in various cookbooks throughout the 20th century. More recently, it has emerged as a popular alternative to peanut butter and is often used in similar ways.