Macadamias: The Extraordinary Nut
You might have heard of the macadamia nut before, and hopefully you've had the privilege of tasting its buttery goodness, but what do you actually know about the macadamia nut, and more importantly what do you know about macadamia nut product availability?
As with other nuts, such as almonds and pistachios, macadamia nuts suffer from a slight identity crisis – with some asking the question: Are they actually a type of nut at all? While they are botanically classified as drupes, they’re in fact also classified as nuts, which can cause some confusion. But for all intents and purposes, macadamia nuts are tree nuts. House of Macadamia nuts are grown in the heart of macadamia nut country – The Limpopo Province, Tzaneen in South Africa.
How do macadamia nuts grow?
So we’ve established that macadamia nuts grow on trees, but they actually don’t start their life looking anything like the macadamia nut that we see in macadamia nut products on the shelves of health food and grocery stores.
They have a lengthy lifecycle, which is one of the factors that makes them higher in price than other nuts, also why the availability of macadamia nut products is far less than their nut cousins. It can take up to eight years for a macadamia tree to grow its first crop, which appears on the ends of its branches as ping-pong ball sized green spheres. As these spheres ripen, they begin to change colour, eventually falling to the ground below and turning brown. From the ground, the macadamias are then harvested by hand (or by machinery), where they are then taken for processing.
To get to the good stuff within, first the hard outer husk and shell must be cracked. This is not an easy process and is one of the reasons why you don’t find macadamia nut products sold inside their shells. That’s a tough nut to crack.
A sustainable superfood
Macadamia trees have inherently sustainable characteristics and farmers have adopted sustainable on-farm practices with the growing of the macadamia nut crops in South Africa. This is a time when consumers should be, and are, making more conscious decisions when it comes to what they are putting in their shopping baskets. One of the wonders of the macadamia nut is that it has been scientifically shown to have a positive impact on the environment, all the while being positioned as an indulgent nut to consume – the king of nuts, the golden child of the nut family.
When it comes to healthy foods, almost everyone agrees that nuts are some of the most nutritious foods available. Macadamia nuts, in particular, provide a vast and varied array of health benefits, and make a superlatively superior addition to your daily diet. The availability of macadamia nut products might not be as accessible as you’d hope, but the House of Macadamia’s product range is growing and evolving and is easily and readily available in leading retailers and online.