Australians are being urged to raise their forks to hardworking growers and celebrate the nation’s day by filling their plates with local, seasonal produce like mouth-watering macadamias, the only native crop that has been developed and traded as a commercial food product.
A nationwide Newspoll survey of more than 1,200 Australians showed that half of respondents were unaware that Australia is the birthplace of the delectable nut with a third (32 per cent) claiming they came from Brazil while others said they came from Hawaii or South Africa (16 per cent each).
Macadamias were born in Australia and the story of our indigenous nut began thousands of years ago. Growing naturally in the rainforest, they were regarded by the Aboriginal people as something very special and were often used in ceremonial gifts. Today, they are grown in the same rich, fertile soils and have the natural advantage of being grown in their country of origin.
CEO of Australian Macadamia Society, Jolyon Burnett, said Australia Day is all about embracing and celebrating our beautiful country and thereâs nothing more true blue than home-grown macadamias.
“Our passionate growers work tirelessly all year round to create the finest nuts in the world. Thereâs truly nothing like Australian macadamias and we should be very proud of that. We want Aussies to embrace the local produce that makes this country so special,” Mr Burnett said.
“Macadamias are the perfect special occasion food. For a truly unique patriotic dish, try using chopped macadamias in sausage roll filling no fax 30 day payday loans or simply serve them up as a mouth-watering snack. Their velvety texture and buttery taste are irresistible and enhance any family feast,” he said.
“If you can’t get enough of our iconic nut, macadamia nut oil is also fantastic for cooking dishes like a traditional Aussie damper. As well as being an amazing ingredient, macadamias are also really good for you. They are an essential part of a healthy diet, offering the highest amount of good fats of any nut, so there’s no excuse not to enjoy a handful this Australia Day.”
The research also revealed respondents had very little knowledge and understanding of macadamia farming with only 25 per cent correctly saying harvest begins at the start of Autumn. A quarter of survey participants (26 per cent) wrongly named the Northern Territory as a key growing area, 14 per cent South Australia and 13 per cent Victoria.
Macadamias are predominantly grown in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales and up the Queensland coast, with smaller plantings in Western Australia. Around 40,000 tonnes are produced annually by 750 growers with blossoming beginning in September, harvest in February and March and new season in May each year.
Australia is the world leader in research, marketing and development, and is also the largest producer and exporter, delivering macadamias to more than 40 countries worldwide, generating between $120 and $130 million worth of export revenue annually.
Macadamias are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge to preserve their freshness.