Roasted Macadamia Nuts


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.

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45 Responses

  1. Interestingly enough, MM, a few weeks ago there was a dinner that I attended here in Cebu for the visiting mayor of Honolulu, members of his city council and the Fil-Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. One of their projects is the establishment of a macadamia nut growing project in the Philippines. They are looking into the feasibility of it all to supply the Hawaiian macadamia chocolate industry with nuts as there is hardly any more local production. Most of those chocolate covered nuts you buy are actually from Australia, apparently!

  2. thanks for the tip MM on the low priced macadamia nuts at spice and flavors. i love that shop. last weekend i threw a party for close friends and cooked a little for them. I was really a big savings plus we all spent time longer chatting. Unlike if you do your party at a resto, the price is soaring high plus you need to vacate the tables right away as there are customers queing outside.
    MM, thanks for the tips and techniques in food servings.. etc. More power.

  3. Bubut, cooking a holiday dinner or any dinner at home is always much more satisfying, I think. You eat more, you are more relaxed, and it often costs less… :)

  4. I remember we used to have a macadamia tree near our house when we lived in Bukidnon. We’d peel off the skin then place the hard nuts in a crack on the garage floor before breaking them open with a hammer. Yummy.

  5. Friends of mine grow macadamias in southern CA…not commercially, just for their own consumption). I had roasted (shelled) nuts with them once, but the nuts were being roasted mainly as a first step to making macadamia nut oil for a salad. We had the oil and whole nuts over arugula with shaved dry jack on top. Lovely. Perhaps you can try making oil with your in-shell nuts?

    I recall that at least in the past there was a great protectionist attitude to macadamia nuts…I guess first Australia and thne Hawaii wanted to maintain an “exclusive” production. So it is interesting to read that now they are looking to establish trees outside of the US. How times change…

  6. I LOVE macadamia nuts, but have only had them with cookies or ice cream or in chocolates. Or in prepackaged tins. This is an interesting way to enjoy it, I think. Now if only I can find some roasted ones to try this side of Toronto…..

  7. also love macadamia nuts. you’ve given me a great idea for foodie gifts! will look around to see if i can find them at the shanghai first food store.

  8. I know where to get macadamia grafted seedlings…They can actually be grown here as we have similar climate with hawaii…

  9. Hi el_jefe, is it ok for you to give us more information about where we could get the grafted seedlings? My father might be interested to plant some in our backyard = )

  10. I haven’t had the opportunity to eat roasted macadamia nuts, although I’ve tried them covered with chocolate which is always delicious and I’ve tried them with white chocolate in a cookie definitely taste sinful. Although I don’t always get to enjoy macadamia because of their steep price, but a little servings of macadamia nut for special occasions is something I look forward to.

  11. I also haven’t eaten roasted macadamia nuts but eaten macadamia nuts covered with white chocolate. Delicious but quite expensive.

  12. @ el_jefe Hi, can you email the link or the address where you can get those seedling? Thanks!

    Loved those chocolate covered macadamia nuts that we usually get as pasalubong.

  13. the last time i ate macadamia nuts is in a glass jar that was printed with a famous international hotel chain which is sold in their merchandise shops, its a little bit salty but quite addictive,to borrow a line from a chip commercial,” once you pop, you cant stop!” ..=D
    its funny, but sometimes, i always have this craving for “roasted highland legumes”..dunno why..=D

  14. I haven’t tried buying them in the shell and I think I don’t have the patience in cracking and prying them out with that metal…thing. King of the Nuts, as they say all over the world. It’s true. Whenever I have a packet of macadamia nuts (200 gms. a packet), I can consume them alone in just one sitting, whereas with other nuts, I share them with my husband…I am looking forward to your Christmas spread, MM. More power.

  15. Happy Holidays Marketman!!!

    I do recall reading somewhere that the late Dr. Atkins recommended macadamia nuts as being one of the healthiest nuts and a great snack for a low carbohydrate regimen. This started me on a macadamia nut binge. I didn’t lose any weight nor did I gain any weight but that had to be one of my most pleasant diets ever.

  16. G’day. With due respect to our Hawaiian cousins I would like to emphasise that macadamias are native to Australia. In fact, growing as a boy we always called them Queensland nuts.

    In any event, they are delicious and have many uses in cooking from turkey stuffing to macadamia and caramel slices.

  17. MM, your post on macadamia nuts brought back warm memories when we used to live in Hawaii. Thanks for the tip on where to buy macadamia nuts in the Fort. I usually get to buy them in Bangkok, the shelled ones in 200g tins — salted or with green tea and wasabi flavor. My son, who is on a low-carb life style, is crazy about these nuts. It is healthy food. Thailand promotes macadamia nut growing as a lucrative cash crop.

  18. Ozichris, you are correct, macadamias are native to the Brisbane area, and were only brought to Hawaii in the late 1800’s, according to Alan Davidson. Growers developed new strains and took Macadamias to new heights, and controlled the world market until recent attempts to propagate the nuts elsewhere in the world… I wish we would grow them in the Philippines on a commercial basis… In the same manner that I wish more folks raised pili nuts as well…

  19. OMG MM! as in OMG! I am absolutely nuts with macadamia nuts! Ikaw talaga! now i have to go to market market at hyper speed at baka maubusan ako. baka bilhin mo na lahat. thanks so much for the tip.

  20. And for those who just have to get their macadamia fix in any form like me…I buy what they call grade B or C and then use them for my baking. My all time favorite, Doc…the “no-brainer” one I told you last year. …you have to TRY making these, MM….we are talking MAJOR addicitng stuff here that is so hard to stop eating at just 1 piece of cookie but more like a bark. There are numerous recipes on the web but they are all basically the same.

    2 sticks of butter
    1/4 cup each brown sugar and granulated sugar
    1 to 2 tsp. vanilla
    I add just a really really tiny pinch of salt. But here is where my differs and I think brings this bark to another level…I sub BUTTER PECAN extract for the vanilla. ….really, really good bark! Oh, also, add a smidgeon of water to the butter and the sugar once mixed on the stove…to make the toffee a lot smoother as you pour them over the whole graham crackers on the cookie sheet and then bake for 10 minutes. The cocolate chips, pulse for a few seconds in food processor so it softens faster on the warm toffee coated grahm crackers while still warm and then it spreads easily. To finish it, sprinkle with your coarsely chopped macadamias. Then let it set and cut into pieces.

    The butter pecan extract (maybe Sister can include it in your next balikbayan box!) also when added to STICKY TOFFEEPUDDING….sooooooo good! lalo na if topped with caramel coconut or macadamia topping and then broiled to let it set.

    Anyway, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MM and to everyone!

  21. It is a Macadamia Nut Cracker, Franky! You could buy it in e-bay or Sur la Table in Seattle is your best bet. But e-bay would be a good source for it!

    It comes in various styles?!?

  22. OzCris and MM are very correct in advising that macadamia are native to (southern) Queensland. As such, they don’t need a tropical climate – they’re even grown commercially here in frigid northern New Zealand. All the supermarkets here in Auckland sell them in their bulk nuts/dried fruit helpyourself bins! By the way, they are named after a Scotsman named Macadam.

  23. Hey, Doc Connie…If you don’t have macadamia trees yet at Hacienda Kudyapi, ask el_jefe where to get those seedlings…just a thought!

  24. yes, MM…pili nuts should be right up there with other “world-class” nuts. i know they don’t keep very well and therefore pose some marketing issues, but by this time, you would think that somebody would have studied ways of prolonging their shelf life. macadamias, cashews and pili nuts are my top favorites.

    bettyq, that sounds like an easy-to-do bark. will have to look for butter-pecan flavor, though. am planning to do a spiced nuts mix this weekend.

  25. MM, I saw some small packs of shelled macademia at sm grocery north edsa a month ago. It doesn’t look, and I think quite expensive.

  26. I know that this is a weird place to get them but one of the best macadamia nuts I’ve ever tasted were the roasted macadamia packs they sold in Walgreens across the US. I was used to eating the plain salted ones so the roasted variety was new to me. It’s such a shame I only bought 5 packs to take back home.

  27. timely ..our team just opened 2 boxes of cocoa dusted macadamia nuts, roasted macademia nuts covered in a rich creamy milk chocolate and dusted in fine quality cocoa powder. A thank you gift from one of the Unis in VIC. Lami kaayo.

  28. On the subject of Macadamia nuts, have you ever tasted wasabi flavored ones? Was recently given a small pack of them by a family friend. Hehehehe. Wasabi just explodes in your mouth then dissipates to make room for the nuts themselves. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted roasted Macadamia nuts just as they are though…

  29. Yes, Millet! It is a NO-BRAINER ….that is what I like about it! I pack them in these waxy Chinese take-out boxes. And yes, I like cashews too that I top the bark with it as well. If you know of anyone who has nut allergies, crush some toffee bits like Skor? (I am not a Skor fan….anyone knows if it has nuts in it?)

    Oh, MIllet…here is another one you might want to try. I made STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING. BUT instad of baking it in a 9by 13 or springform pan, I baked it in a jelly roll pan or brazos pan. …my take on a different FFTG. …then top it with coconut carmel topping and then BROIL it.

  30. Hi bettyQ. squatting on MM’s website again. Happy enough that I have a kaffir lime tree growing and a curry plant for my grilled fish, otherwise in my postage stamp property, the clay earth and acidic soil is a real challenge. Am trying hard to condition the soil but it is next to impossible. Tomorrow I make cioppino ala MM. Thanks for the recipe MM.
    I am making my sauce tonight and add the seafood tomorrow, fresh form the sea!

    I’ll wait a couple of weeks for my macadamia fix in Perth Australia where we will spend new Year with hubby’s sister. Maybe I’ll see the real nuts for the first time and try a crack at “them”.

    From Puerto Princesa, Happy Holidays MM, bettyQ and everyone! Will print MM’s posts as pdf files to read later. Internet access iserratic and painfully slow.

  31. Oh, I am also trying the different brands of local tableas. Betty q if you have a recipe for choc coated macadamias give it here so I can try it with the tablea after i get back from Perth. Thanks.

  32. Connie C, don’t give up on your clay soil…I’ve had similar gardening issues in past gardens and it IS possible to improve the soil. Lots of compost to lighten and enrich clay, and lime or similar to raise the pH. If you have no earthworms, see if you can acquire some from a friend’s garden (once you have a reasonably enriched spot for them to live in). It may take time but there is nothing like homegrown fresh vegetables/herbs/etc. In the meantime, you might try container gardening. And as an alternative, try building raised beds which might be easier than conditioning an entire yard.

    Hey bettyq, my thai (kaffir) lime tree produced limes this year…tiny (~2 inches) and only six of them, but it’s the first time the tree has borne fruit so I am pretty thrilled. It is now safely in my sunroom out of the cold (we expect a drop in temperatures midweek here on the east coast).

  33. Yup, Doc…just like Kurzhaar said, DON”T GIVE UP! So many amendments you can put…you live near the sea….floating seaweeds, gather them…source of zinc. ….another one is crushed sea shells (calcium) and other trace elements. Yup, borrow earthworms from kapitbahays. …another one is the spent plants…dig them under. Don’t wworry about the salt content of the seaweeds….the rains will wash them out and leach into the soil.

    Now, raised beds as Kurzhaar suggested. …Here is the LAZY way of doing it which is what i do…Mark the aread na build the raised beds just on top of the soil is OK…now gather small twigs on your HACIENDA, as well as natutuyong mga dahon, even the weeds, carton, egg cartons is good too, stuff from the sea, and then layer them until you reach the top… if you have access to manure (composted) so much the better..use that as “sandwich spread ” for every layer. Then let it sit for a few weeks and you can plant on them. …NO DIGGING REQUIRED!

    Kaffir fruit! You are soooo lucky, Kurzhaar. Hey, would sugar apple grow where you are?

  34. Hi bettyq, not sure what a sugar apple is? I am in the Northeast, zone 6+, probably zone 7+ on the south-facing side of the house. Regular apples do really well here, it is a cider making area.

    I’m saving the kaffir limes for soup or perhaps a relish for roasted fish. :)

  35. RDM…you may contact Dr. Roberto Coronel of UPLB…my former professor in college…he owns a farm in calauan laguna…

  36. Thanks for the tips, bettyQ and Kurzhaar. I have some water plants with tiny leaves which I harvest from the pond when overgrown and broadcast them in the yard. I don’t know what they are called, and then the stems from the lato go to my compost pile.

    Yes I do container gardening. In Maryland where I compete with the deer, I had lettuce which yielded several harvests in several containers on my deck till the warm weather when I replaced the spent heads with camote. I had camote top salads till I was green with chlorophyll. Here in Puerto Princesa, I live close to an organic farm where I can get fresh herbs and nice salad greens, so I don’t have to sweat as much. This morning I picked some lettuce and misona? greens, my salad accompaniment with cioppino which had all the sea’s bounty; sopped the soup with crusty French bread from a local bakery. My guests left stuffed to the gills. Thanks for the recipe MM.

  37. MM, I went to Flavour n Spices in Market! Market!. Wala macademia dun. The friendly tindera told me they only have it in SM Makati. So sad, I can’t go there. It’s too far from my place and the traffic is getting worst.

  38. Thank you Susie for mentioning in this blog about the trip of Mayor Mufi Hannemann of Honolulu. Actually the Macadamia project that Mayor Muffi was mentioning is the business venture of Macnut Phil. Inc. Macnut Phil. Inc. is propagating & selling macadamia nuts seedlings in the Philippines. Best variety suited for Philippine soil was researched for almost 3 years and if anybody is interested in planting or just to get information please email me at Macadamia tree is good for reforestation and will still bear fruit up to 150 yrs.

  39. Macadamia trees are also quite attractive as landscaping trees and you see them as such in California…they of course have the added benefit of producing nuts!

  40. Mayor Mufi hannemann of Honolulu and his entourage went to Philippines last November 2009 to promote trade mission. One of his highlights is the promotion of Macadamia nuts propagation thru Mcnut Philippines Inc. Yes, there is a commercial variety as well commercial quantity of macadamia seedlings ready for planting in our country. Around 200,000 plus ready to plant. If you are interested you can contact us @808-2264812 or We are researching it for 3 yrs and we found out the best variety that can yield commercial output! Help Philippines thru reforestation! Help eliminate poverty in Phil! Make Macadamia nuts cheap!

  41. Oh durn, I miss macadamia nuts. Those are pretty cheap in China. I used to get them 30RMB (210 pesos/$4.10) for a kilo. They come in vacuum packed thick plastic with a pair of metal key-thingies.

    I was in Beijing 2 months ago and I brought home 15 kilos of the stuff, almost got stopped at customs/quarantine. Good thing that the customs person liked macadamias and I “left” one of the packets on the inspection table…

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