Dis­cover the Ele­gant Mac Nut

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - TOURING -

More than a cen­tury ago, a Big Is­land sugar plan­ta­tion man­ager in­tro­duced ma­cadamia nuts to the is­land. Although na­tive to Aus­tralian rain­forests, mac nuts thrived in Hawai‘i, and the state be­came the site of the world’s first com­mer­cial plan­ta­tions. To­day, th­ese de­li­cious hard-shelled nuts are one of the Big Is­land’s largest crops.

Ma­cadamia nuts aren’t picked from the tree; in­stead, they fall to the ground fully ripened. How­ever, don’t pick one up ex­pect­ing to shell it and pop it in your mouth—it re­quires 300 pounds of pres­sure per square inch to crack a mac nut shell.

Mauna Loa Ma­cadamia Nut Corp., lo­cated six miles south of Hilo on Ma­cadamia Road, wel­comes vis­i­tors to tour its 2,500-acre or­chard, pro­cess­ing plant and choco­late fac­tory.

For more in­for­ma­tion, look up the Great Hawai­ian Mac Nut Trail, a self-guided tour of Hawaii’s ma­cadamia nut in­dus­try. You’ll find ev­ery­thing from pro­cess­ing plants to small fam­i­ly­owned farms and bed-and-break­fast stops where vis­i­tors can pick ma­cadamia nuts.

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