Picture a sun-kissed orchard, trees adorned with clusters of green, hiding within them the treasure of crunchy, buttery goodness. That's the enchanting beginning of the journey of a macadamia nut – from tree to table, a whimsical adventure that Gondwana Macadamias founders Ron and Mel have been on for the past five years.
Let’s take you through this journey of growing, harvesting, roasting and of course cracking and eating macadamia nuts.
The Macadamia Tree
Macadamias are a native Australian rainforest tree, an evergreen that doesn’t lose leaves, staying lush all year round. This helps create the storybook vision of rows of full, green leafy trees undulating across the landscape.
In the wild you’ll need to search to find a macadamia tree. Some of the trees are tall, reaching into the forest canopy, some are small, hidden within the forest floor. The lucky ones get the light they need to grow.
Nature's Packaging: Husk and Shell
The mighty macadamia nut, grown in a husk and a hard shell. Nature's way of protecting the delicate richness of the edible kernel. How amazing is nature!
The soft, fibrous outer husk of the macadamia generally splits open when it dries. These outer husks compost well, enriching the soil and providing nutrients back to the trees.
The Harvesting Ritual
When macadamias plump and ripe, often still in their outer husk, drop to the ground, the harvest begins across the farm.
Here in the Northern Rivers of NSW, harvest begins around March each year, culminating in our last harvest around early August.
Our nifty tractor, sweeps the nuts from under the tree and into the fingers of the harvester, and to think decades ago this was all done by hand!
The Art of Roasting Macadamias
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and savour the fragrance!
Roasting macadamia nuts in their shell isn't just a culinary feat; it's a symphony of aromas that fills the air with notes of sweetness and nuttiness, tempting taste buds from afar.
Slowly roasted with the utmost precision, love and care. Then sorted again to select the best of the best.
The Crunchy Culmination
And voilà! The culmination of this fun adventure arrives – the roasted macadamia nuts in all their crunchy glory.
It takes finesse and a touch of magic to crack open these tough shells, revealing the ivory-coloured nut inside, snugly cradled within its protective cocoon.
We have tools that make cracking easier. These are slow but worth every hit & crack, as when you bite into the kernel, each crunch is a harmonious blend of buttery richness and subtle sweetness, a testament to its journey from tree to table. We call it ‘Farm Crafted’.
The Nutty Finale
From the orchard's embrace to the warmth of roasting ovens, the journey from tree to table is nothing short of a fairytale (with a lot of hard work thrown in!).
It's a story of nature's bounty, human ingenuity, and the simple joy of savouring a nut that's as delightful to crack open as it is to eat.
So, the next time you crack a roasted macadamia nut and pop it into your mouth, take a moment to appreciate the wonder of its journey and the craft of the farmers – from tree to table, a delightful adventure worth celebrating! Shop here.