Macadamia nut

13 Interesting Facts About Macadamia Nut

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The macadamia nut is a unique and delicious nut that is loved by people all over the world. Originally from the lush rainforests of Australia, these nuts have a rich, buttery flavor and smooth texture that makes them perfect for baking, confections, and snacking.

While the macadamia nut may just seem like another nut you grab off the shelf, it has a fascinating history and some intriguing facts behind it. From its origins in Australia to its journey across oceans to Hawaii and beyond, the story of the macadamia nut is full of surprises.

In this article, we will explore 13 Interesting Facts About Macadamia Nut that shed light on this nut’s ancient origins, growing process, health benefits, and more. Learning more about the backstory of the macadamia can give you a whole new appreciation for this delicious nut next time you bite into one!

Interesting Facts About Macadamia Nut

Interesting Facts About Macadamia Nut
  1. Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. The macadamia nut traces its origins back to the rain forests of northeastern Australia, where they have grown for thousands of years. Various Aboriginal groups even had different names for them such as “kindal kindal”, “bauple nut”, and “gyndl”.
  2. They are named after chemist John Macadam. These nuts were named after John Macadam, a Scottish-Australian chemist who first studied them in the 19th century. His friend Baron Ferdinand von Mueller was the one who officially named them “macadamia nuts” after Macadam.
  3. Only two species produce the edible nut. There are over 10 species of macadamia trees, but only two produce the commercially harvested nut that we eat. These two species are Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla.
  4. The trees can take 7-10 years to produce nuts. After planting a macadamia seed, it typically takes 7-10 years for the tree to grow large enough to begin producing nuts. This slow growth makes macadamia nuts more expensive to cultivate.
  5. Macadamia has the hardest shell of any tree nut. Macadamia shells are extremely tough to crack, requiring 300 pounds of pressure per square inch to break open their shell. This protects the white kernels inside the hard shell.
  6. Macadamia oil is prized in cosmetics. The macadamia is valued not just for its nut, but also for its nut oil. Light and non-greasy, this oil contains nutrients like vitamin E and essential fatty acids that are excellent for skin and hair.
  7. Hawaii helped popularize macadamias. Although native to Australia, Hawaii helped introduce macadamias to the world. Macadamia trees were first planted in Hawaii in the 1880s and the nut quickly became a popular crop on the islands.
  8. The U.S. is the #1 consumer. Today, the number one consumer of macadamia nuts is the United States, which imports over 51% of all macadamia nuts produced globally. Their rich, sweet flavor makes them a favorite for cookies, candies and more.
  9. They are high in healthy fats. Macadamia nuts contain over 75% fat, but it is primarily monounsaturated fat, which can help lower bad cholesterol. This makes macadamias a great addition to a heart-healthy diet.
  10. Macadamias are toxic to dogs. While the rich, fatty meat of the macadamia nut is perfectly safe for human consumption, it can be toxic to dogs. Vomiting, muscle tremors, and weakness are symptoms dogs may experience from ingesting macadamias.
  11. China is the leading producer. China produces over 57,000 metric tons of macadamia nuts each year, making it the #1 producer globally. Other top producers include South Africa, Australia, Kenya, and the United States.
  12. Macadamias are harvested from the ground. Unlike some other nuts that grow in bunches, mature macadamia nuts fall to the ground when fully ripe. Workers then collect the hard round nuts wearing protective gloves from any sharp husks.
  13. Macadamias are the most expensive nut. Due to slow growth rates, tough harvesting methods, and high demand, macadamia nuts are the most expensive nut in the world, costing over $25 per pound. Their premium price makes them a real treat!


What is the scientific name of Macadamia nuts?

The scientific name of Macadamia nuts is Macadamia, and it belongs to the family Proteaceae.

Where are Macadamia nuts indigenous to?

Macadamia nuts are indigenous to Australia, specifically native to northeastern New South Wales and central and southeastern Queensland.

How did Macadamia nuts come to be commercially produced in Hawaii?

Macadamia nuts were first commercially produced on a wide scale in Hawaii when Australian seeds were introduced in the 1880s.

What are some common names for Macadamia nuts?

Some common names for Macadamia nuts include Queensland nut, bush nut, maroochi nut, and bauple nut.

What are the nutritional values of Macadamia nuts?

Per 100 grams, raw Macadamia nuts provide 740 kilocalories and are a rich source of essential nutrients such as thiamine, vitamin B6, manganese, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.


From their ancient origins in Australia to their rise in Hawaiian agriculture to their modern status as an artisanal delicacy, the story of the macadamia nut is full of rich history and fascinating facts. These buttery, sweet nuts have come a long way from their early days foraging in the wild rainforests.

Next time you come across a bag of macadamia nuts, remember a few of these intriguing tidbits, from just how tough their shells are to crack open to how long the trees take to bear the precious nuts. With this new knowledge, you can gain a whole new level of appreciation for the delicious macadamia.

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