Lovers of Australiaâs native nut are in for a crunchy treat with more than 4,000 tonnes of new season creamy, buttery macadamia kernels from picturesque plantations across subtropical New South Wales and Queensland expected to hit supermarkets, green grocers and farmersâ markets nationwide.
Local growers have projected a yield of 39,000 tonnes of nut-in-shell this harvest which will translate to 11,500 tonnes of kernel, with around 35 per cent going straight to the domestic market.
Olympic swimming sensation, cafÃ© and restaurant owner and macadamia fan, Eamon Sullivan, is urging Australians to take advantage of freshly harvested home-grown macadamias which are available all year round.
âMacadamias are so special and are my favourite nuts in the world,â he said. âThey are delicious because they have the natural advantage of being grown in their country of origin with production today centred around the same rich and fertile regions that were once home to the original native species.
âIâm truly excited about the quality of kernels going to market this season which continues to be world-class,â he said. âI really do encourage everyone to indulge in a handful of macadamias a day and experience the unique taste and texture for themselves. Itâs all thanks to our growers who are committed to producing the very best crop possible,â Eamon said.
New South Wales grower, Warren Elvery, who manages 78,000 macadamia trees spread over 330 hectares proenhance work, is once again confined to his mechanical harvester to gather the best tasting macadamias in the world.
âItâs been a slow start with storms and wild weather earlier this year, but Iâm now really focused on getting good nuts off the ground as quickly as possible and providing high-quality product for people to enjoy,â he said.
Once gathered, the nuts go through a three week drying process to reduce moisture content and allow the natural oils to fully develop before they are carefully cracked, vacuum packed and stored in a humidity controlled environment to help preserve their shelf life.
Eamon said our indigenous nut is so versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways. âTheir subtle, buttery flavour and velvety-soft crunch make macadamias irresistible at any time of the day. Theyâre a fantastic winter ingredient and add such a delicious, crispy surprise to any dish,â he said.
âFor some inspiration, try my tasty macadamia and beetroot salad recipe. Theyâre also great in desserts like my winter-warming pear and strawberry macadamia crumble or mouth-watering brownies which are a big hit at my cafÃ© in Perth,â Eamon said.
When buying macadamias, look for ones that are plump, crunchy and light-coloured. To help maintain their exceptional quality, correct storage is vital. Once opened, keep macadamias in an air-tight container, refrigerate and use within two months, remembering to return nuts to room temperature before eating.