Byron Bay is famous for many things – stunning beaches, surf culture, a community where anything goes – and more recently as a foodie destination and celebrity hangout. But did you know that Australia produces more than a third of the world’s macadamia nuts, and many of these grow in the sub-tropical hinterland around Byron Bay?
Either way, if you’re a fan of Australia’s native nut and you’re in Byron Bay between 8 and 11 am on a Thursday, why not take a look at the Byron Farmers’ Market and discover what the local producers have on offer for macadamia nut lovers.
The first growers’ market in the region, the Byron Farmers’ Market has been going strong since 2002. Supported by a community committed to the green revolution years before it became fashionable, the local, seasonal produce proves the point that organic, “low kilometre” food, just tastes better.
But before you find this out for yourself, sustenance is required – so pull up a chair at one of the communal tables, order a Sicilian inspired breakfast from The Nomadic Kitchen, grab a latte from Myocum Coffee and soak up the music and laid back vibes of this weekly, community get together, Byron style.
First stop, Mumma Raw. Andrea Subirat cares about the health benefits of the macadamia nut. She uses it in her raw food because it’s gluten and cholesterol free, high in Omega 3, high in energy and tastes amazing! The creamy consistency makes it perfect for the chocolate ganache topping, a delight in the munchies and the great texture and oil content makes a beautiful, fluffy consistency for the macadamia cream chia cups – always a winner with the stall’s health-conscious customers.
Next up is Rainforest Foods. Stock up on their best-selling, natural macadamia spread or branch out and give the roasted or raw cacao alternative a shot – it’s the healthy alternative to butter and an essential for your kitchen. Add this tasty nut spread to smoothies or use as a base for a delicious pesto. There’s also a fantastic selection of quality macadamia oils, including one infused with lemon myrtle plus there’s the moreish, dark chocolate coated, honey roasted macadamia nuts that make a perfect gift.
Love macadamia nuts with pasta? Then drop by and have a chat with the guys at Byron Gourmet Pasta – they are passionate about our indigenous nut. Tristan was born and bred in the main macadamia producing town of Dunoon, and he’s been working with the nut since he was 11 years old. He loves the best-selling macadamia pesto because it’s light and creamy and a knockout with a hint of chilli, while Liam highly recommends their fresh, hand-made organic pasta with rocket, basil, macadamia and a little grated parmesan.
For bread made the way it used to be, there’s Heartbreads. Grab a loaf of their yummy, organic, fruit and nut bread and smother a slice or two with the macadamia nut spread from Rainforest Foods for the ultimate start to your day. And if you’re planning a barbecue while you’re in town, look no further than the macadamia honey nut sausages produced by Dave Trevor-Jones from Hayters Hill Farm – that’s the farm with the jaw dropping view on the back road between Bangalow and Byron. Dave makes these sausages to his own recipe, and they are divine. Gluten and preservative free too!
If you’re thinking you’re going to need a salad with those sausages, stop by and say “hello” to Kerry Wilson of Nimbin Valley Dairy. Kerry comes from a long line of dairy farmers, and he’s passionate about cheese making. For a great salad, he recommends adding his creamy, mild, Orange Billy cheese to crispy green leaves, throwing in a few juicy orange segments, a sprinkle of macadamia nuts and finishing it all off with a drizzle of macadamia oil. And if you’re after a cheese platter with a difference, just add a scattering of macadamia nuts and delight your friends with their smooth, buttery crunch.
With all your macadamia nut needs met – it’s time to check out what else this laidback, lovely town has to offer. But first things first – make sure you head on up to the lighthouse and enjoy the magnificent views of the Byron Bay hinterland; the natural habitat of Australia’s favourite nut.
The Byron Farmers Market are held each Thursday between 8am – 11am Butler St Reserve Byron Bay NSW Australia