Brought to you by Patons Macadamia.
This is how Patons’ macadamias get from the tree to your carry-on.
Next time you’re thinking of buying a plush koala or a certain popular spread as a souvenir of your time in Australia, consider something a little different – and incredibly delicious.
Patons’ macadamias are the quintessential Australian gift. Native to Australia (there’s more to indigenous flora than you think!), macadamias have been eaten here for thousands of years. Patons, an Australian-owned business, uses locally grown macadamias in all its products. From humble beginnings more than 40 years ago, Patons now offers the largest range of chocolate-covered macadamias in the world, including their latest addition.
The Artisan range
Patons Macadamia takes great pride in its packaging. The gift boxes in its new Artisan range feature iconic Australian elements, including indigenous artwork, botanical drawings and Melbourne laneway graffiti art, making them ideal Australiana souvenirs.
The Artisan range, which includes chocolate-covered macadamias combined with tastebud-tingling flavours such as toffee, salted caramel, espresso and blood orange and chilli, is exclusive to travel retail outlets.
But getting a macadamia from plant to pack isn’t as simple as picking and processing. Here’s what goes into preparing these iconic choc-coated nuts for your souvenir shopping:
Growing and harvesting
Macadamias are not an overnight wonder crop – it can take up to 15 years for a mature tree to achieve its maximum yield. Thriving in Australia’s subtropical rainforest regions of Northern NSW and South-east Queensland, the trees flower in spring and nutlet clusters emerge from the flowers in early summer. The shells harden and the rich oil of the nuts develops until the ripe nuts start to fall between March and September.
Husking and drying
Macadamias grow inside a hard shell, protected by a fibrous husk. This husk is removed after harvest to speed the drying process. Drying can take up to three weeks, with the nuts’ moisture content slowly reducing from 30 to 1.5 per cent. The dried kernels shrink away from the shell, eliminating damage when the nuts pass through the cracking machines. The macadamias are then packed in airtight bags for freshness and stored in dry conditions before, during and after processing.
While roasted macadamias make a great snack, Patons takes the indulgence a step further by hand coating the nuts in smooth chocolate. The wider range includes nuts dipped in toffee, caramelised in manuka honey or dusted in cocoa. Pick up a box next time you’re browsing duty free – and try not to eat them all on the plane!
Visit patons.com.au for the full range of Patons Macadamia products.