I tasted these roasted macadamia nuts still in their shells for the first time at Bacchus Epicerie the other day. I was instantly SMITTEN. While “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” is the opening line to my favorite Christmas song, these roasted macadamias should figure in their own rendition. Anyone who is familiar with those canned or packaged Hawaiian macadamia nuts or even their Australian relatives know they are delicious… and range from rich to richer in mouth feel. But these roasted chestnuts are not as silky or buttery, and have a distinct roasted flavor to them. This version at Bacchus were probably soaked or flavored with sugared water or possibly some other flavorings. They are fantastic. But at PHP1,500 a kilo, premium priced. They come with a little pointed metal contraption that is used to pry open the nuts. If I had to guess, these are from China… didn’t realize they grew macadamias in China, but maybe they do or they import the nuts still in the shell and process them there. I brought home a couple of small packets and Mrs. MM and I immediately consumed half of a packet in a few minutes. Delicious.
Thinking I had discovered a fantastic Christmas present for foodie friends, I was thinking of getting several packets to give away… And then absolutely by chance, the following day, I discovered that a similar product was for sale at Spices n Flavours, that fantastic chain of spice and nut shops that have branches in Market!Market!, large malls, and weekend markets. Imagine my surprise to find roasted macadamias in their shell at just PHP410 a kilo! Nearly 70% less than the premium versions at Bacchus Epicerie! I tasted one and realized they weren’t the same thing, but they weren’t bad at all. The premium version is bigger, noticeably so, and is flavored on the sweet side. But the smaller versions are also plainer, and that is good if you are thinking of using them in baked goods or just like your nuts au naturel. We bought several kilos of these less flavored nuts. And yes, they came with the little metal thingee to pry oven the shells. :)
Premium priced ones on the left of the photo above. Economy priced ones on the right. Take your pick.