A nutty affair
Celebrating the wondrous macadamia nut, an Australian native that this year reaches 40 years of commercial growing.
There’s nothing quite like indulging in freshly harvested, home-grown macadamias. Sweet, light and creamy, the moreish nuts have a simple elegance to their taste that adds something special to any nutty mix.
Australia is the birthplace of macadamias, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the delicious nut’s commercial production, dating back to when the Australian Macadamia Society – the industry body for growers – was first established in 1974.
To celebrate this milestone, some of Australia’s most loved celebrity chefs including Adriano Zumbo, Kylie Kwong, Karen Martini and Giovanni Pilu gathered together to toast macadamias in front on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“Macadamias’ reputation and appeal has been built on their creamy, buttery taste and versatility as a stand-alone snack, or as a way of adding taste and texture to dishes, both savoury and sweet,” says Jolyon Burnett, CEO of the Australian Macadamia Society.
“Macadamias are loaded with good fats and offer many health and beauty benefits, so devour a handful and raise a ‘roast’ to a global success story and the hardworking growers that continue to produce the world’s finest nut.”
(Video: Australian Macadamias)
The history of the macadamia
Macadamias first evolved on the north-east coast of the country more than 60,000 years ago, growing naturally in the Australian rainforest. They were regarded by the Aboriginal people as something very special and were often traded between tribes and used as special ceremonial gifts at inter-tribal corroborees.
While the first macadamia plantation was established in the 1880s, it wasn’t until the development of successful grafting techniques and the introduction of mechanical processing that commercial production of the tough nut became feasible.
Macadamia enthusiast Norm Gerber pioneered the grafting techniques that enabled the development of our commercial industry, and he is often referred to as the founding father of the Australian macadamia industry.
Macadamias are predominantly grown in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales and southern and central Queensland, with smaller plantings in Western Australia and far north Queensland. Blossoming begins in September with harvest taking place from February to August each year.