also known as Queensland nut or Bush nut
What are Macadamia Nuts?
Macadamia nut is a type of nut originating from Australia. The nut is the fruit of the Proteaceae family of trees. It has an extremely hard shell and the form of a small globe.
- The edible portion of the nut consists of a crisp outer cover and creamy interior, and has a sweet, buttery flavor.
- Macadamia nuts have been an important part of the Aboriginal diet for centuries.
The top 10 most expensive varieties of nuts are:
- Macadamia Nut
- Pine Nut
- Cashew Nut
- Brazil Nut
Origin of macadamia nuts
Macadamia have their origin in Queensland, Australia. The nuts that are now commercially produced have their origin in a single tree in the province. However, scientists believe that there is scope for diversity to be found among the wild varieties. The oldest macadamia tree planted by humans is in Brisbane and dates back to 1858. The seeds were brought to Hawaii from Australia by W.H. Purvis and R.A. Jordan, where the climate suited their cultivation. These days, macadamia nuts are grown in different countries with a tropical climate.
Nutritional profile for macadamia nut (100 g):
Macadamia nuts are rich in micronutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and beta-sitosterol. Also, they contain sufficient amounts of calcium, folate, and fatty acids.
Regular consumption of these nuts may help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and colon cancer. Additionally, they keep metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and diabetes in check. These nuts may help in preventing degeneration of the brain and related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, macadamia nuts offer satiety and may help combat obesity.
The main producers of macadamia nuts are Australia and South Africa, which together account for 55 percent of the world production. Other countries that produce these nuts are Kenya, China, the USA, Guatemala, Malawi, Vietnam, Colombia, New Zealand, and Swaziland.
Out of the ten species of macadamia trees, only two produce edible nuts. Macadamia trees thrive in a warm climate and require rain and rich soil. The trees take about seven to ten years to produce fruit and are harvested around six times a year. Usually, the work is done manually because each nut has to be inspected before harvesting since it is difficult to differentiate between ripe and unripe nuts. Macadamia nuts are considered to be the most expensive nuts in the world due to their slow harvesting process.
Macadamia nuts must be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to nine months. The high fat content of these nuts can easily make them rancid, so it is best to not keep them at room temperature.
Macadamia nuts recipes
These nuts have been an integral part of aboriginal diet for centuries. Today, they are used in baked goods, desserts, soups, salads, nut milk, and even cocktails. Here are a few recipes:
- White Chocolate Nut Cookies
- Butterscotch Blondies
- Fudge Brownies
- Chocolate Tart
- Macadamia Pesto
- Vanilla Nut Cream Cake
- Nut Bobotie
- Shortbread Cookies
- Anzac Biscuits
- Aussie Sausage Rolls
- Nut Crusted Lamb Chops
- Orange and Lemon Cake
- Baked Pears
- Berry-licious Macadamia Rhubarb Bars
- Rempah Goreng
- Macadamia Hot Chocolate
The FDA classifies nuts as raw agricultural produce. Additionally, the organization regulates the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of macadamia nuts.
Irene Kim, What makes macadamia nuts the most expensive nuts in the world, at $25 per pound, Business Insider India
Brigit Katz, Most of the World’s Macadamias May Have Originated From a Single Australian Tree, Smithsonian Magazine
Griel, Amy E et al. “A macadamia nut-rich diet reduces total and LDL-cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 138,4 (2008): 761-7. doi:10.1093/jn/138.4.761, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18356332/