Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The tree is an evergreen that grows to a height of 25 feet (7.62 meters) and bears clusters of small white flowers. It grows best in subtropical climates with well drained soil and annual rainfall of 40 to 100 inches (102 to 254 cm.).
The nutmeat is generally a creamy white in color, but sometimes has a yellowish tinge. It has a delicate flavor that is highly prized by many. Macadamias are consumed roasted or as an ingredient of cakes, pastries and confections. They are also finding a place in main dishes similar to the way that almonds and cashews are used in oriental cuisine . Macadamia nut oil is sometimes used in cosmetic products.
Named after botanist John Macadam, the first commercial orchard was established in Australia in the late 1880s. Commercial production began in Hawaii during the 1920s and thereafter spread to California, Mexico and other regions with similar climate. The leading commercial producers today are Australia and Hawaii.
- The Macadamia nut is the only plant food native to Australia that is produced and exported in any significant quantity.
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