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What Do Macadamia Nuts Taste Like?

Here’s a question: what do macadamia nuts taste like? These nutty delicacies are tough to crack but are incredibly delicious. In today’s article, you will learn why macadamias taste good and how they compare to hazelnuts!

wooden spoon filled with macadamia nuts.

What Are Macadamia Nuts?

Macadamia nuts are fruits of macadamia trees originating from Australia.

They are named after the scientist John Macadam, who first described the species in the 19th century.

These nuts are known for their creamy, buttery flavor and are commonly eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in baking and cooking.

Macadamia nuts are one of the most expensive nuts in the world. Macadamia nut trees only produce nuts once they’re at least a decade old. Also, macadamias are difficult for human hands to peel, so you’ll need a machine to crack them open. For this reason, macadamia nuts are processed and peeled, adding to their price.

Macadamia Nut History and Origin

Macadamia nuts have a long history with Aboriginal communities. These indigenous groups were one of the first people who settled in the country. In their culture, macadamia nuts are called “bauple nuts” and are essential bush food.

For the rest of Australia, these fruits were known as “Queensland nuts” or “bush nuts.”

At one point, most macadamia cultivation happened in Australia. But when farmers first planted macadamia in Hawaii, these nuts quickly spread worldwide. And since 2010, South Africa has been the largest producer of macadamias.

In the United States, you can buy macadamia nuts at well-stocked supermarkets. It’s also possible to buy them in bulk online, though at a much higher cost.

What do macadamia nuts look like?

Depending on the variety, these nuts can have smooth or rough brown shells. Once opened, macadamia nuts have tan-colored kernels similar to chickpeas.

What Do Macadamia Nuts Taste Like?

A macadamia nut has a sweet buttery flavor. It’s very mild with hints of coconut, so eating it can get quite addicting.

Roasting macadamias also enhances their sweetness and adds a smoky taste.

Macadamia nuts are incredibly fatty, which helps during roasting. The kernels remain soft and have smooth and creamy textures.

Are macadamia nuts good for you?

Consuming macadamia nuts offer good benefits.

Macadamia nut has a high-fat content, making it a good energy source.

These nuts are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1, magnesium, and manganese.

Macadamia VS Hazelnut

Being two of the most popular nut varieties, it’s hard not to compare macadamias and hazelnuts. At first glance, they look the same, but they couldn’t be more different. Here’s how to spot the differences between the two:


Hazelnuts also have off-white kernels. But what makes them different are their thin layer of brown peel and hollow centers. In contrast, macadamia nuts have kernels that look like solid circles of soft butter.


Macadamias have mellow flavors, while hazelnuts are more complex. Like macadamia nuts, hazelnuts also have nutty and smoky tastes. But instead of sweet and buttery, hazelnuts taste earthy and slightly bitter.


Hazelnuts have less fat but are still creamy, with a crunch in each bite. On the other hand, macadamia nuts are much softer, as long as you don’t count the shells.


You can pair hazelnut’s rich flavor with chocolate drinks and spreads. In comparison, macadamia nuts taste delicious as snacks, nut butter, or vegan milk.


Hazelnuts are more common and affordable than macadamia nuts. For instance, a pound of macadamia nuts costs $30, while the same bag fetches half the price of hazelnuts.

Macadamia nuts are often roasted or salted to enhance their flavor, and they can be enjoyed on their own or mixed with other nuts and dried fruits.

From roasting to baking, here are all the ingenious ways to use macadamia nuts in the kitchen.

They are also used in various sweet and savory dishes, including cakes, cookies, salads, and stir-fries.

Roasted Nuts

If we’re talking macadamia, then roasted macadamia nuts deserve a special mention. You can buy roasted macadamias or make your own! Just place macadamias on a roasting pan and pop them in the oven. Roasting builds up the natural sugars and gives the nuts a smoky flavor. Try sprinkling salt to complement the sweet and buttery tastes.

Nut Butter

Macadamia nut butter is a creamier alternative to peanut butter. And the best part is – it’s easy to make at home. A blender or food processor should break down the macadamia nuts into a smooth paste. And since it’s naturally fatty, there’s no need to add oil. Others prefer to add sea salt to counter the rich nutty flavor. Macadamia butter tastes delicious when paired with blueberry jam sandwiches.

Macadamia Oil

If you’re tired of olive oil, why not give macadamia oil a shot? This oil comes from pressed raw macadamia nuts. Like olive oil, macadamia nut oil is just as flexible in the kitchen. The oil’s nutty flavor makes it a tasty base for salad dressings. Its high smoke point is also excellent for stir-fries and deep-frying. You can even use macadamia oil to substitute butter when baking!

Vegan Milk

Aside from oil and butter, macadamias also play a role in plant-based milk. Macadamia milk comes from soaked nuts. It’s a decent vegan substitute with the same milkiness and creaminess as dairy. You can pair macadamia milk with your favorite cereal or blend it into smoothies. The only downside is that macadamia milk is pricier than others.

Macadamia Flour

Did you know that macadamias are great for making “mac flour?” Unlike regular flour, mac flour has a coarser texture to prevent it from turning into a paste. Macadamia flour is sweet and nutty, perfect for baking sweet desserts. But it also doesn’t shy away from savory flavors. You can use mac flour for coating chicken or fish, guaranteeing a crispy crust each time.

How Long Do Macadamia Nuts Last?

Macadamia nuts can last years as long as stored correctly.

These nuts can stay fresh for five months when kept in a secure pantry.

Keeping them in the fridge extends their lifespan to a year.

Freezing macadamias preserves them for up to two years.

Do Macadamia Nuts Go Bad?

Like all nuts, macadamia nuts can go bad if they are not stored properly or if they are left for too long. The shelf life of macadamia nuts depends on various factors, including the storage conditions and the type of packaging they come in.

Signs that macadamia nuts may have gone bad include a stale or off smell, a bitter or rancid taste, or discoloration or mold growth.

Store macadamia nuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to stay fresh for as long as possible. This will help to slow down the oxidation process and prevent the nuts from going rancid.

It’s also a good idea to check the nuts regularly and discard any that show signs of spoilage.

Why Are Macadamia Nuts Expensive?

Macadamia nuts are expensive because they’re difficult to cultivate. A macadamia nut tree only produces fruit after ten years. Plus, these nuts have tough shells that only machines can open. Limited supply and complex processes equal a pricey delicacy.

Why Do Macadamia Nuts Taste So Good?

The macadamia nut’s flavor comes from its natural fats. The fatty content makes the meat soft, sweet, and buttery and adds a creamy texture.

Do Macadamia Nuts Taste Like Hazelnuts?

No, macadamia nuts border on delicate and sweet. In contrast, hazelnuts have rich earthy, and crunchy flavors.

Do Macadamia Nuts Taste Like Brazil Nuts?

Yes, macadamia nuts actually taste close to brazil nuts. They have the same sweet and buttery flavors.


Macadamia nuts are delicious tree nuts coming all the way from Australia. Many liken these nuts to fresh coconut with their sweet buttery flavors. And being a popular variety, macadamia nuts are often compared to hazelnuts.

But what do macadamia nuts taste like in comparison? Hazelnuts have richer, earthier, and nuttier flavors – a fitting pair for chocolate. Meanwhile, macadamias taste best roasted or blended into nut butter for sandwiches.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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