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macadamia nut


Synonyms: Queensland nut, bauple or bopple nut; botanical name: Macadamia integrifolia, M. tetraphylla and M. ternifolia



The name "Queensland nut" indicates the origin of the macadamia nut, which stems from eastern Australia. It was introduced around 1880 to Hawaii, where it was cultivated for the first time on plantations. The main producers are still Australia and Hawaii, but macadamias are also grown in California, Mexico, and Central and South America, as well as in East and South Africa.


The cultivation of several different varieties makes macadamia nuts available the year round. They are only occasionally sold in the shell. Compared with other types of nuts, macadamias are somewhat more expensive.

Appearance, taste, characteristics

The macadamia tree can reach 15 m in height. The nuts hang in panicles on the tree and have a fleshy green hull that is removed in the country of origin. The macadamia nuts are then stored to dry. The nut is round with a diameter of about 2 cm. The shell is very hard and light-brown with spots. There are varieties with thick, rough shells of with thin, smooth shells. The kernel is creamy-white, also round, and tapers to a slight point. Macadamia nuts have a sweet nutty flavour and are considered to be the finest and best-tasting of all nuts.


Together with the pecan, macadamia nuts have the highest fat or oil content of all nuts. This makes them very rich in calories. Their composition of fatty acids is favourable, with a large portion of unsaturated fatty acids. At the same time, like most hard-shelled dry fruits, macadamia nuts are rich in fibre.

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Whole macadamia nuts in the shell are offered for sale of late as well. Normally, however, they are sold shelled and vacuum-packed, in which case they can be kept for up to 2 years. Pay attention to the best-before date on the package. Macadamias retain their flavour best when the dry kernels are stored cool and in water-vapour-proof packaging. Unpacked macadamia nuts kept at room temperature become rancid very quickly and lose their crispness.

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Macadamia nuts can be eaten fresh, dried, roasted and salted as a snack. It is extremely difficult to crack the shell of some varieties with a normal nutcracker. Macadamia nuts are usually sold shelled as whole kernels or broken pieces. Because they spoil quickly in this condition, they are roasted or fried in coconut oil, which enhances their flavour even more. Then they are usually salted and packed airtight in cans or bags. Like other nuts, they have a variety of uses and can be added to all kinds of foods. They are good for enriching fish, meat, salads and sauces, or finely ground in soup. Covered with chocolate or caramel they are a delicious sweet, and they are used as well as an ingredient in ice cream, pralines, cakes and biscuits. Macadamia nuts are also used to make nut cordial and high-quality edible oil. Additionally, the oil is used in the cosmetics branch for skin- and body-care products.





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