Tuesday, September 02, 2008

HARD NUT TO CRACK



It's that time of year... The macadamia nuts are beginning to fall. We have one small tree that last year only produced 5 nuts. But this year, like the mango trees this year, the flowers were able to mature before the winds blew in and ruined the crop. It looks like we have a few hundred on the tree now. That should keep Kekoa happy for awhile.

They start out as small white flowers on a long stem that resembles a bottle brush and are actually a member of the Protea family. They then grow into nuts which are covered in a very thick and hard green outer skin. The leaves of the tree are very stiff, pointy and sharp which makes picking them difficult. I have read that they are usually harvested after they have fallen to the ground because of the leaves. When they drop, that outer shell will slowly split open over several days to reveal the round brown shelled nut inside. Don't even think about using a nut cracker or a hammer. What you have to do is roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes until the brown shell starts to crack. Then you take them out, wrap them in a towel and lightly hit with a hammer so as not to crush the meat part. So you see it is a very detailed process and indeed a hard nut to crack.

4 comments:

Michael said...

Great article on macadamia nuts. They are a Hawaiian tradition and should be celebrated this time of year.

Modern Living Hawaii said...

They are indeed hard nuts to crack :) When my brother and I were young we used to take a hammer to them in our yard and we got it down to an art, but I definitely recommend the roasting option!

Deb said...

isn't living in HI grand? :-) i grew up there and i still just can't get enough of your stories.

mahalo.

Conn said...

It is the HI life!
I am so glad we get to give you a,little taste of home now and then. Any special requests you like to see or hear about?
I have a photo I took of the buildings in the painting you bought in Makawao. I need to post that... I'll do. that today.