Did you know that the nut kingdom has its own king? His name is Macadamia, or Queensland nut, is a small tree native to Australia. As a rule, it begins to yield a crop, about 100 kilograms of nuts, only in the seventh or tenth year of life.
The macadamia owes its name to the chief botanist of the Australian state of Victoria, Ferdinand von Müller. This scientist was the first to describe the native plant family, and therefore he had every right to name the nut after his friend, the Scotsman John McAdam. Naturally, this was not the only name that the plant was awarded. The locals have long called the trees from which the nuts are harvested, Kindal-Kindal, and the fruits themselves, Mullimmbimbi or Boomera. That is why for a long time the miracle nut had different names, and only after 1930, when the Association of Macadamia Lovers was created in Australia, the common name given by von Müller was strengthened everywhere.
With the advent of the first Europeans in Australia, who quickly "tasted" the unusual nut, macadamia became almost the only currency in trade with local tribes. In addition, Europe and America, spoiled by delicacies, were enchanted by the taste of this nut.
In the early sixties, the walnut industry in Australia exploded in full force. This was preceded by many years of research in the field of tree growing in nurseries, selection, collection and storage of macadamias. When eighty thousand hazels were planted in southeastern Queensland in 1970, many Australians began to invest in the growing industry. This was largely due to the fact that "nut" investments were encouraged by the state - they were not taxed. In 1972, the inhabitants of the continent managed to collect seventy tons of delicious fruits, and today the production of nuts is 40, 000 tons per year.
Today, nine types of macadamia are known, five of which grow only in Australia. There are plantations of this unusual nut in California, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, Hawaii.
Today, macadamia is the most expensive nut treat in the world. In his historical homeland, the price per kilogram exceeds thirty US dollars. The high cost of the Australian walnut is determined by the fact that it is grown very little.
People are willing to pay for a seemingly simple nut, not only because it is difficult to find. Macadamia is a storehouse of valuable nutrients. This nut helps to remove cholesterol from the body, it is a source of calcium and other minerals. It is low in carbohydrates, but relatively high in fat. According to scientists, regular consumption of healthy nuts reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, and even contributes to weight loss (despite the fact that 100 g contains 700 kcal).
It’s a paradox, but this plant, useful for us in all respects, is extremely toxic to man’s best friends - dogs. When only one nut is consumed for food, the animal becomes severely intoxicated.
Macadamia kernels are difficult to separate from the thick shell. What people have not invented in order to "get" to the delicacy: from stones to locksmith's vice. They even tried to boil the nuts, but this method only reduced the quality of the product.
By the way, macadamia fruits taste like hazelnuts. Large kernels are usually fried and covered with caramel or chocolate, while small and crushed ones are added to salads and seafood dishes or pressed into oil. Connoisseurs accompany their meals with macadamia with sherry and coffee. These drinks are believed to complement the nutty flavor.
Macadamia is used not only in cooking. The oil of this nut is considered a valuable cosmetic product. It is easily absorbed into the skin and has a softening, nourishing and moisturizing effect, excellently helps with sunburn. Therefore, macadamia oil is often found in creams, lotions, masks, shampoos, hair care products and makeup. It resembles olive in its properties and contains about eighty percent of unsaturated fatty acids, which are widely used in dermatology and are very close to the fatty acids of skin lipoids. Therefore, cosmetics with macadamia do not cause any adverse reactions. In addition, the oil has a high content of potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamins, minerals, proteins, palmitic and oleic acids.