Queenslanders enjoy snacking on macadamias more than any other nut with new consumer research showing Australia's delicious native kernel is much-loved and a big favourite with people living in the sunshine state.
A new Newspoll survey of more than 1,200 Australians aged between 18-64 revealed Queensland is leading the way when comes to recognising and appreciating the wonderful properties of home-grown macadamias with 32 per cent claiming them as their favourite nut, ahead of cashews (22 per cent) and almonds (14 per cent).
CEO of Australian Macadamia Society, Jolyon Burnett, said "The macadamia nut, once known as the 'Queensland nut', originated on the east coast of the state, so it's all about a sense of pride and belonging."
"Macadamia nuts are originally from Queensland and are native to the area around Bauple, just south of Maryborough," Mr Burnett said. "Many years ago, it was tradition for families to have both a mango and macadamia tree planted in their very own backyards. It was also common for kids to climb trees, collect the nuts and crack open the outer hard shell to get to the creamy, buttery kernel inside.
"It's no surprise Queenslanders are enjoying our local macadamias. For most, it's all about nostalgia; the childhood memories, family traditions and Aussie culture combined with the unmistakeable taste and texture of our delicious indigenous nut," Mr Burnett said.
Mr Burnett said there is still about 30,000 homes in Queensland with macadamia trees and farms within the state are also expanding, especially in Bundaberg.
"Bundaberg is currently the second largest macadamia growing area in the country," he said. "With its current rate of production, it will challenge the Northern Rivers as the largest growing region in Australia within the next five years," Mr Burnett said.
Aussie Olympic swimming sensation, café and restaurant owner and macadamia fan, Eamon Sullivan applauds Queenslanders and encourages them to continue to take advantage of Australia's indigenous nut with tonnes of new season's kernels about to hit shelves.
"Macadamias are so special and my favourite nuts in the world," he said. "They 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.
"I'm truly excited about the quality of kernels going to market this season which continues to be world-class," he said. "I really do encourage everyone to indulge in a handful of macadamias a day and experience the unique taste and texture for themselves," Eamon said.
Eamon said the macadamia nut is so versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways. "Their subtle, buttery flavour and velvety-soft crunch make them irresistible at any time of the day. They're a fantastic winter ingredient and add such a delicious, crispy surprise to any dish," he said.
"For some inspiration, try my tasty macadamia and beetroot salad recipe. They're also great in desserts like my winter-warming pear and strawberry macadamia crumble or mouth-watering brownies which are a big hit at my café in Perth," 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.
Phone: 02 9361 6099
Market Development Manager
Australian Macadamia Society
Phone: 02 6622 4933
About Australian Macadamia Society: The Australian Macadamia Society is a body of approximately 650 Australian members representing all facets of the macadamia industry in Australia. Whilst the majority of members are growers, membership also includes such diverse occupations as processors, administrators, business people, investors, marketers, consultants, researchers, engineers, teachers and other macadamia enthusiasts.
It is estimated that 80% of Australian growers are members of the Society and that they produce 96% of the Australian annual production, around 40,000 tonnes. The AMS was founded with the objectives of promoting and coordinating all aspects of the industry, to encourage free exchange of ideas and information and to foster goodwill among members.