Hawaiian macadamia nuts are seen all over the world. Hawaii is the macadamia nut capitol of the world, growing 90% of the world’s Macadamia nuts. When you arrive in Honolulu, you can’t help but notice that most of the stores carry macadamia nuts and macadamia nut products, such as dry roasted nuts, chocolate covered nuts, macadamia brittle and macadamia nut coffee among other products.

The Macadamia nut is a native of Australia and was given it’s name by two Australians. One was a Royal botanist in Melbourne named Ferdinand Von Mueller and the other was a director of a botanical garden in Brisbane named Walter Hill. The tree was named in honor of John Macadam, MD., who was the Secretary of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria.

The Hawaiian macadamia nut history starts in 1882 when a sugar plantation manager named William H. Purvis brought some macadamia nut seeds to the islands and planted them in Kapuhena on the Island of Hawaii. The trees were grown for their beauty and not their fruit.

A Massachussetts man named Ernest Shelton Von Tassel started the first macadamia nut plantation in Hawaii, close to Honolulu in 1921. He failed on his endeavor because he didn’t know how to get the best yield from his crop. After 20 years of research by the University of Hawaii the Macadamia tree’s crop was greatly improved. In the 1950’s, large companies such as Castle and Cooke, and C. Brewer and Company LTD. Began to invest in Macadamia plantations. In 1976 C. Brewer started to distribute the Hawaiian macadamia nuts under the brand name “Mauna Loa”. Mauna Loa is a name that has since become synonymous with Macadamia nuts. The Mauna Loa Plantation is located on the big island of Hawaii near the Volcano National Park.

Hawaiian Macadamia nuts are very nutritious and taste great. Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fatty acids which has been proven to lower cholesterol. The oil of the macadamia nut is proven to be better than olive oil in lowering cholesterol and preventing heart attacks. Macadamia nut oil is also known for reducing the occurrence of breast cancer. Although many people believe that macadamia nuts are fattening, they actually contain about the same number of calories as other nuts. The macadamia nut contains protein, unsaturated fats, carbohydrates, vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, calcium and iron.

The macadamia has the hardest shell of any other nut and takes about 300 lbs per square inch to crack the nut’s hard shell. Even though most of Hawaii’s macadamia nut farms and processing plants are on the big island of Hawaii, there are also some great suppliers located on Oahu. One really great macadamia supplier is Raw Foods. I have always found their nut products to be great tasting and really fresh. Just click on the nuts below to view their inventory of fresh quality nuts.

I have also included some of my favorite macadamia nut recipes that will be sure to be a big hit for any occasion. If you grow or buy raw nuts, I will teach you how to roast macadamia nuts, so that you will have the freshest and tastiest Hawaiian macadamia nut treats you have ever eaten.

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