8th
May
2014

Posted in Kafevend Blog

Whilst tea and coffee are grown in and exported from Australia, they are typically fairly small scale businesses compared to the industrial might put behind the crops by countries like China and Indonesia. One of Australia's most widely produced food exports is the Macadamia nut, with the country accounting for around 40% of the world's total. There are four species of evergreen trees that belong to the Macadamia genus, though only two- integrifolia and tetraphylla- are used for commercial purposes. The plant has also done well in countries like Hawaii and Mexico.

The Macadamia genus was named after the Scottish-Australian chemist Dr. John Macadam by his friend Ferdinand von Mueller, a German-Australian botanist in 1857. Macadamia plants were first discovered by a European almost thirty years earlier however, by the botanist Allan Cunningham, but their use by Aboriginals goes back much further still. Aboriginals are known to eat some of the other species of macadamia which are potentially toxic, as they make the nuts edible by leaching the toxins away.

Macadamia nuts have turned out to be good at lowering that evil old low density cholesterol thanks to the high levels of palmitoleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid for the chemists amongst you) found within them. This same acid has also given minks a break, as it is a useful substitute for the mink oil used in cosmetics, particularly skincare. I should of course point out that some people can be very allergic to macadamias and nuts in general, so you might be better off sticking to mink or whatever else they are using these days. Check back again next week for a recipe containing this bush tucker twist!

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