Macadamia Nut Oil
Flavors that Infuse
Macadamia nuts are usually associated with Hawaii, but they actually originate from Australia. The nuts are delicious to eat, especially the chocolate-coated ones, but macadamia nuts also produce excellent macadamia nut oil.
The macadamia integrifolia tree is native to the Australian region of southeastern Queensland, where it grows in the rainforests and close to streams. The M. tetraphylla tree is also native to southeastern Queensland, along with northeastern New South Wales. This tree grows in rainforests, in moist areas and along stream banks. At the point where the two species of trees meet, there are types that appear to be natural hybrids.
The macadamia tree was actually introduced to Hawaii around 1881, where it was used as an ornamental tree and for reforestation. The Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station named and introduced various selections in 1948 and this led modern and lucrative macadamia industry in Hawaii. Various macadamia trees were imported to California from Hawaii around 1950 and macadamias are also grown in South Africa and Central America.
Macadamia nuts have a very hard seed coat that is enclosed in a green husk which splits open as the nut matures. The seed coat houses a creamy white kernel containing up to 80 percent oil and four percent sugar. The oil content ranges from 65 percent to 75 percent and the sugar content ranges from six percent to eight percent. Many people consider macadamia nut oil to be the healthiest of all cooking oils
Macadamia nut oil has several good things going for it. First of all, it has a high smoke point of 410 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is good for frying. This allows its fatty acid composition to stay intact when frying and baking at temperatures that make ordinary vegetable oils toxic. It also has a fairly light texture with an attractive hint of nuttiness to it. Macadamia nut oil is very rich in monounsaturates, which scientists have associated with healthy cholesterol levels. Macadamia nut oil can give your homemade mayonnaise a nice earthy touch and it is also excellent in chicken salad and for frying potatoes and mushrooms.
There is a wide variety and difference in macadamia nut oils. You may want to use oil from Australia, as the nuts are native to that country. The climate and soil are perfect for producing some of the most delicious, premium quality nuts. The macadamia nut oil should be minimally processed. The nuts should be pressed in chilled expellers and filtered, without using of heat or chemicals.