macadamia nut

Pronunciation: [mak-uh-DAY-mee-uh]

As hard as it is to believe, the macadamia tree was first grown only for ornamental purposes. Thankfully, the buttery-rich, slightly sweet nature of the tree's nut was eventually discovered and has been prized ever since. The macadamia tree is native to Australia and was named for John McAdam, the Scottish-born chemist who cultivated it. In the 1890s the macadamia journeyed from Tasmania to be cultivated in Hawaii (now its largest exporter) and, eventually, California. Because of its extremely hard shell, this marble-size, golden brown nut is usually sold shelled, either roasted or raw. It has a high fat content and should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent rancidity. Macadamias are widely used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. See also nuts.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Nuts About Macadamia Nuts

Buttery, heart-healthy macadamia nuts are good for more than just snacking -- grind them into nut butter, use as a coating for fish or add them to baked goods,

Discover Nut Butters

Peanut butter is definitely one of my all-time favorite healthy foods, but there’s more to nut butters than just peanuts. Discover all the possibilities, each come along with healthy fats, protein and unique nutrients.

Nut Allergy 101

When you're allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, even a small amount can cause a severe allergic reaction. Find out what products are safest to eat, and which to avoid.

Nuts About Pecans

Buttery, crunchy, plus full of flavor and healthy fats -- so many reasons to go nuts over pecans!

Nuts About Almonds

We’ve told you about grain, legumes, herbs, and seasonal produce. In this new series we’ll explore your favorite nuts -- let’s get cracking!

Nuts About Walnuts

Last month we told you why we’re cuckoo for almonds. Now we’re talking walnuts. Did you know these babies have more omega-3 fats than any other nut?

Nuts About Pistachios

No other nut boost an emerald hue. Find out what you’re getting when you crack open a pistachio.