Macadamias are an Australian native nut and this year marks the 40th anniversary of commercial growing and the establishment of the Australian Macadamia Society, the industry body for growers.
Wednesday May 8 saw celebrity chefs and macadamia growers raise a ‘roast’ and toast macadamias in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Adriano Zumbo, Kylie Kwong, Karen Martini and Giovanni Pilu were at the event and Adriano Zumbo created a macadamia macaroon tower specifically for the event. Also in attendance were Australian icon Marcia Hines and Fiona Scott MP.
We have some great photos from the event to share with you and below is some interesting macadamia information.
Macadamias first grew naturally in the Australian rainforest on the north east coast of the country 60,000 years ago and were regarded by the Aboriginal people as something very special.
The first plantation was established in the 1880s but commercial production didn’t become feasible until the development of successful grafting techniques and the introduction of mechanical processing.
Jolyon Burnett, CEO of the Australian Macadamia Society, said the last 40 years have seen a tremendous growth within the industry with Australia leading the world in production and export, accounting for more than 30 per cent of the world’s crop.
“From humble beginnings, we now have around 750 growers who produce around 40,000 tonnes of nuts-in-shell each year, of which 70 per cent is exported to more than 40 countries worldwide – incredibly, the only native Australian crop to be developed and traded internationally as a commercial food product.
“Over the past two decades, planting has expanded five-fold and a third of the six million macadamia trees our growers are cultivating have yet to reach full production so the future is bright,” he said.
The macadamia industry employs thousands of people and contributes millions to regional economies. The success of the industry has been put down to talented growers passionate about innovations, sustainability and quality to produce the best macadamias from their natural home.
The perfect way for all Australians to get involved with the anniversary celebrations throughout May is to indulge in freshly harvested home-grown macadamias. Eat them as a healthy snack or added to both savoury and sweet dishes. We have a range of Macadamia recipes here on the site and there are many more to be found at www.australian-macadamias.org.
“Macadamias are loaded with good fats and offer many health and beauty benefits, so devour a handful and raise a ‘roast’ to a global success story and the hardworking growers that continue to produce the world’s finest nut.”
Macadamias are predominantly grown in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales and southern and central Queensland, with smaller plantings in Western Australia and far north Queensland. Blossoming begins in September with harvest taking place from February to August each year.