For the last week and a half the manservant has been playing astro-dweeb in Hawaii. It must have felt wonderful to leave the cold behind and go out to the islands – even if he was only awake at night-time.
His coming home Valentine's gift to me was 5lbs of macadamia nuts! I love mac nuts - I will have them drizzled with honey on top of plain yogurt for breakfast – every morning until they are gone.
Macadamia trees are native to Australia and have also been called Queensland nut, Bush nut, Maroochi nut and bauple nut. Aboriginal names for the nuts include gyndl, jindilli and boombera.
We were a little slack in getting into commercial production of macadamia nuts and most people think they are Hawaiian….
William Purvis was the manager of a sugar plantation on the Big Island who visited Australia in 1881 and was so taken by the beauty of the tree that he took seeds back to Hawaii and planted them for decoration. But it was Massachuesetts-born Ernest Van Tassel who commercialized the macadamia nut in 1922 even though in 1910 the Hawaiian Agricultural Experiment Station had encouraged planting of macadamia on Hawaii's Kona coast as a crop to supplement coffee production.
Ernst Van Tassel formed the Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Co in 1922 and in 1953 "Royal Hawaiian" macadamia nuts was introduced by Castle and Cooke - this brand is credited with popularizing the nuts in mainland US.
During this time the largest producer in Australia was the Macadamia Processing Company which concentrated on bulk sales - 25lb cartons were sold to Hawaii for retail products in their off-season!!
Australia finally got their act together and caught up to the US in the late 1990's and is now the world's biggest exporter of macadamia nuts accounting for 47% of total world exports.
These should last awhile: