Macadamia nuts are a huge commercial export in Hawaii, but actually native to Australia. In rain forests that run along the coast, macadamia nut trees slowly sprouted and produced these small golden nuts, discovered by British colonists in the 1800’s. In Queensland, Walter Hill, director of a botany garden found one of these nuts and named it after fiend and colleague, John Macadam.
In South Wales, Australia the first macadamia orchard was planted and cultivated in the late 1800’s. Over 250 trees grew and provided millions of macadamia nuts putting Australia on the map as a major producers and exporter of the nut. Around the same time some of these nuts were collected and brought to Hawaii. William Herbert Purvis was the name of the man responsible for planting and growing the macadamia nut in Kukuihaele, Hawaii.
Thanks to Purvis, a plantation was founded in the mid 1900’s and today is the largest most expansive manufacturer or macadamia nuts in the whole world. The soil, rain and climate of Hawaii make for great and bountiful orchards. The nuts are harvested while still in husks before they are dried, shelled and packaged. Sold in jars and sealed bags these nuts are eaten around the world.
Directly from Hawaii you can get chocolate covered macadamia nuts, the perfect day or nighttime snack. This nut is also added into caramel popcorn taking this sweet snack up a notch. However - hands down, the most popular recipes that contain these tropical nuts are white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. The sweetness of the white chocolate chips mixes with the saltiness of the nuts for a perfect combination.
From its start in Australia to worldwide distribution from Hawaii, the macadamia nut has come a long way. Full of anti-oxidants and fiber along with a rich salty taste, its no wonder this is such a popular snack. Purchased on the island, or online form your home, you can’t go wrong with macadamia nuts for mixing into a recipes or just eating plain throughout the day.