Organic Macadamia Nuts
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Macadamias are Australia's only contribution of a native-grown plant to
the world's main food supplies. Wild organic macadamia nuts were
traditionally collected by Australian aborigines in the fall --- and later
traded by the aborigines to white settlers for tobacco and rum. What were
once called Queensland nuts were first described botannically in 1858.
Australia's foremost botanist of the time, Baron Ferdinand von Mueller,
later decided to give the nuts a name commemorating his Scottish friend Dr.
John Macadam, who died after after experiencing a rough voyage from
Australia to New Zealand.
Macadamia nut trees began to be domesticated shortly after their proper botanical classification. The trees start to bear fruit six or seven years after being planted, and can have a productive life of more than 60 years. Mature trees can produce up to 150 pounds of in-shell nuts per year.
18,000 macadamia seedlings were used to help reforest a portion of the island of Hawaii in 1918.
The highest in fat of any nut, macadamia nuts were nonetheless proclaimed by horticultural wizard Luther Burbank to be the perfect nut. While macadamia nuts require a warm climate (in the U.S. they have only been grown successfully in Hawaii and California), they also cannot be grown any closer than 15 degrees in latitude to the equator.