The Macadamia [mak-uh-DAY-mee-uh] is the youngest of the edible tree nuts, with commercial cultivation dating from 1858. Macadamia trees were first grown only for ornamental purposes – until the great-tasting nut was discovered!
This particular tree nut is native to the Australian rainforest and named for the Scottish-born chemist who first cultivated it, John McAdam.
The macadamia tree provides a fruit consisting of a fleshy husk covering a spherical seed protected by a hard and durable shell. Inside this shell is the macadamia nut, whose exquisite flavor and delicate crunch is sometimes compared with that of a superfine hazelnut.
In 1882 the macadamia was introduced to Hawaii, one of the main production areas, together with Australia. Although not as well known to consumers as some of the other nuts, the macadamia is regarded as one of the world’s premium edible nuts. Macadamias are marketed in shelled form and are typically used as a snack, in baked cookies or coated in chocolate as confectionary.
For more information about macadamias, visit www.macadamias.org.