What does macadamia nut taste and smell like, how to eat it correctly
Macadamia is an exotic nut that is included in the list of the most expensive foods in the world. The high cost is associated with the complexity and duration of plant growth. Several years must pass before the plant begins to bear fruit. The nut has a delicate sweetish taste, delicate aroma and rich chemical composition.
The content of the article
- What is this nut
- What does macadamia nut look like and what it smells like
- Why does it taste sweet and smell like vanilla
- How and where it grows
- Composition and properties
- Health benefits and harms
- How to eat it correctly
- Shell use
- How to choose and store nuts correctly
What is this nut
Macadam nuts are supplied to Russia from countries with a tropical climate... The plant grows only in hot and humid environments.
Round nuts resemble small brown balls. They are easily recognized by their strong shell with a small cut in the middle that helps open the fruit.
A nut growing on a tree has 2 layers of shell... The upper dark green part that protects the core, leathery, but not firm to the touch. When it cracks in the center, the fruit is ripe. The second layer of chocolate color protects the core and is an unusually strong shell. In the absence of a cut, it will be extremely difficult to get the core on your own.
Ripe macadamia fruits are harvested by hand, taken to the factory, where they go through several stages of processing:
- Removing the top layer... The nuts are sent to a special device in which pumps pull out the green rind. Workers check the peeled kernels for peel residues.
- Drying... The fruits are dried at a temperature of + 25 ° C. With such indicators, nutrients in the kernels are not destroyed, but more than 60% of moisture is removed, due to which macadamia does not germinate during transportation. Drying at + 30 ° C is used for another 10 days.
- Cutting the shell... As it dries, the kernel shrinks and separates from the shell. This allows you to make a cut without damaging the valuable pulp. The cuts are made by special devices, after which the nuts are sent to vibrating grates to separate the kernel.
In some cases, the final stages are removal of shells, drying and quality control of kernels. However, unpeeled nuts are more often transported: in this form, they retain a pleasant taste longer.
What does macadamia nut look like and what it smells like
Australian nuts are round with a slightly elongated tip... Unpeeled fruits are hard to the touch, they cannot be broken or crushed.
The kernel is delicate in white or cream shade... The structure is dense, but loose, crumbles when pressed or bitten. When fresh, it has a characteristic crunch.
Kernel structure oily, reminds many of a cream. The nut has a sweet taste and most often a vanilla aroma.
Attention! Not everyone will agree that macadamia has a vanilla-like scent. Some have compared it to the scent of Brazil nut, a mixture of cashews and hazelnuts, or hazelnuts with roasted chestnuts. Some fruits smell like chocolate.
Interesting that not only the core has a sweet taste, but also the shell itself... It is slightly sticky to the touch.
What tastes and smells in natural environment and before sale
Freshly picked fruits have less intense taste and aroma, unlike those dried in production, as they contain a large amount of water.
Fresh, unpeeled walnuts from the store that have been stored under all conditions do not taste different from dried fruits in the exporting country.
Reference! In nature, only a powerful parrot's beak is capable of cracking the macadamia shell.
When interacting with air, the kernels oxidize, acquire a rancid tasteand the sweetness and characteristic aroma become less intense. To prevent this from happening, nuts without shells are stored in a vacuum. However, even in this case, the taste differs from unpeeled for the worse.
Why does it taste sweet and smell like vanilla
The reason for the sweetness is not that the fruits are covered with sugar syrup or vanilla extract... The most expensive nut does not need such a supplement.
Macadamia is high in sugarswhich give the product a sweetish taste. The aroma resembling vanilla is natural to the fruit.
Attention! Unscrupulous manufacturers sometimes use vanilla or chocolate extract to enhance the natural flavor of macadamia.
Several varieties of edible macadamia have been developed, among which there are nuts with vanilla, chocolate and even coffee aromas.
How and where it grows
Macadamia is a tree that grows up to 15 m in height... Its leaves are oblong leathery smooth, the crown is dense. During flowering, the plant is covered with small creamy flowers, collected in long inflorescences, reminiscent of "earrings".
Fruits appear only 7-10 years after planting... The nuts are collected in long clusters. On average, six months pass from their formation to ripening.
Macadamia unpretentious, grows in tropical warm and humid climates... The root system is weak and superficial and unable to support the plant in strong winds. In addition, the tree is attacked by pests, which significantly complicates its cultivation.
Macadamia grows in:
- New Zealand;
- South Africa;
- Costa Rica;
Found in Jamaica and Hawaii. In Australia, honey is sold from the flowers of macadamia nuts.
Composition and properties
Macadamia is prized not only for its unusual aroma and sweet taste - it has rich chemical composition:
- unsaturated fatty acids: omega-3, 6, 7, 9, 11;
- saturated fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, arachidic and others;
- minerals: phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, sulfur, potassium, calcium, silicon, sodium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, boron, vanadium;
- vitamins: B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, C, E, PP, K.
In macadamia high concentration of fatty acids:
- unsaturated - 147.3% (omega-3 - 20.6%, omega-6 - 13%);
- saturated - 48.2%.
Macadam nuts are cholesterol free, has a high protein content (up to 10% of the daily value). It contains up to 12% of nonessential and essential amino acids.
The nut has a high calorie content: there are 720 kcal per 100 g. This amount of the product contains 75.8 g of fat, 7.9 g of protein and 5.2 g of carbohydrates.
Fatty acids in fruits useful for the full functioning of the endocrine and digestive systems, prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Health benefits and harms
Macadamia is prized for beneficial features:
- Improving the condition of the heart and blood vessels... Oleic acid helps dissolve cholesterol plaques on blood vessels. The high content of potassium and omega-9 in the product lowers blood pressure, and monounsaturated fatty acids thin the blood, preventing thrombosis.
- Lower blood sugar... Monounsaturated fatty acids increase the body's sensitivity to insulin.
- Beneficial effects on the brain... Minerals and vitamins, in particular the B group, stimulate the production of neurotransmitters.
- Prevention of diseases of the musculoskeletal system... Potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium protect bones from breakdown and demineralization.
- Improving bowel function... Insoluble fiber improves digestion and is involved in the elimination of toxins and toxins from the body.
- Removal of inflammation... Alpha linolenic acid reduces inflammatory responses.
- Treating anemia... Macadamia contains a large amount of iron.
- Long lasting energy boost... It comes from a combination of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
- Boost your metabolism... This is facilitated by monounsaturated fatty acids.
- Strengthening hair, moisturizing and rejuvenating the skin. The product accelerates tissue regeneration, prevents age spots, and promotes collagen production. Walnut oil prevents the destruction of cell membranes, protects the skin from UV radiation, regenerates and strengthens damaged hair.
- Improving vision and prevention of eye diseases thanks to fatty acids, B vitamins and beta carotene.
- Prevention of oncological diseases... This is helped by the antioxidant properties of selenium.
Macadamia will harm only if there are contraindications or consumed in excessive amounts.
Useful properties for men and women
Nuts are useful for the male body:
- increase potency due to microcirculation of blood, the presence of zinc;
- prevent inflammation of the prostate gland and diseases of the genitourinary system.
The product is no less useful and for women... It helps balance hormones, relieve PMS and pain during menstruation. Nuts normalize metabolism, and therefore, with regular use in moderation, they contribute to weight loss.
Fruits are especially useful during pregnancy:
- relieve headache;
- improve mood and eliminate irritability;
- strengthen the nervous system, immunity;
- reduce the risk of varicose veins;
- regulate pressure.
How to eat it correctly
Macadamia is eaten as a stand-alone snack or added to desserts... The nut goes best with coffee, liqueur and chocolate.
They eat on the day no more than 50 g of nuts... Due to the high calorie content, excessive consumption of the product leads to obesity.
They found application not only for macadamia kernels, but also for shells. Her used for:
- Fuel... The shell contains a lot of oils, so it burns for a long time and generates a lot of heat. Nut processing factories are powered by macadamia waste. The shells are also used as fuel for the grill.
- Fertilizers... The shell contains a lot of nutrients and inhibits the growth of weeds.
- Creation of environmentally friendly plastic... It is made from crushed nut shells, but it is expensive and difficult to manufacture.
- Crafts... Decorations and aromatic sachets are made from fragrant shells.
How to choose and store nuts correctly
Low-quality nuts have a rancid taste and faint aroma. In order not to make a mistake when buying, it is important to know which parameters to pay attention to:
- Appearance... The shell should be free of damage other than the factory cut. High-quality kernels have a uniform white or cream color, they are free of stains, mold marks, holes from insects.
- Aroma and taste... Quality fruits have a pronounced sweetish aroma. Sweetness is also present in the taste. Rancidity indicates that the product was not stored correctly or has expired. Some manufacturers add salt to the nuts, so the taste is sweet and salty.
- Texture... Fresh kernels are dense, with strong pressure or impact they crumble into small crunchy pieces.
- Packaging... The most delicious and fragrant are nuts in shell. This shell retains taste and aroma best. Peeled kernels should be vacuum sealed.
- Price... Average cost - from $ 30 per 1 kg.
Keep fruits in the refrigerator... The shelf life of inshell nuts is 2 years, peeled kernels - 1 year. The longer the product is stored, the less pronounced its taste and aroma.
Macadamia is not recommended for people with nut allergies and children under 3 years of age... It is better to refuse the product during lactation.
Nut is dangerous for dogs: Leads to weakness and gastric upset, short-term paralysis. In rare cases, death is possible.
Most people love the sweet taste of the Australian nut.... However, it is not suitable for those who prefer less exotic and savory fruits.
Alisa, Tver: “Recently I saw round nuts with a cut in the shell in a supermarket. I decided to try it, despite the high price. These are really delicious and fatty fruits. Vanilla aroma and sweetish aftertaste are present. The shell is sticky and sweet, does not lose its flavor for a long time ".
Alexander, Moscow: “I saw macadamia on the internet and decided to try it. Nuts are sweet and fatty. If you love cashews and brazil nuts, you will love them. Pine nuts and salted peanuts are nicer to me ".
Macadamia nut is one of the most expensive foods in the world. The high cost is associated with the complexity of cultivation, a long wait for the first harvest and the complexity of processing the fruits of an exotic tree. Kernels contain many vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, proteins. Regular inclusion of this product in the diet has a positive effect on health and prolongs youth.