I had never tried macadamia nuts until I visit Hawaii. Well, let me tell you, I fell in love with them. If you have a chance to visit a macadamia nut farm on your Hawaii vacation, your tongue will thank you. So, let’s revisit a slightly updated blast-from-the-past post, Going Nuts Over Macadamias, that was originally published October of 2007.
Did you know that macadamia trees are not indigenous to Hawaii? I didn’t either until I met Tuddie,the owner of Purdy’s Farm on Molokai. The macadamia nut tree is originally from Australia, but Hawaii is credited with creating the industry for the nut.
Tuddie enthusiastically shares his knowledge about growing macadamia in Hawaii. He showed us the entire life cycle of the nut from flower to harvest.
Being a very tactile person, I enjoyed feeling the texture of the macadamia tree leaves. They’re stiff and remind me of an extra large holly leaf..
On our visit to Purdy’s Farm, Tuddie generously encouraged us to crack open as many nuts as we wanted and eat them right out of the shell. That’s how he sells most of the nuts from his farm. He doesn’t use any additives, preservatives or oils to process them like the big producers do. If you are interested in trying all natural nuts you can order them directly from Purdy’s Farm via this order form. Just bear in mind that Purdy’s nuts are unprocessed and have a one month shelf life. Trust me, once you taste them, you won’t have to worry that they’ll be around for a month or longer.
Where to visit a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii:
On Molokai -
- Purdy’s Farm on Molokai is 2 miles west of Kalapuu on Lihi Pali Avenue. The visit is free. Purdy’s website says they are open Monday through Saturday, but when I was there Tuddie said they are not open Sundays and Mondays. It’s a very small family run business, so it would be best to call ahead and check on their current hours. The number is 808.567.6601.
On the Big Island -
- Mauna Loa Visitor Center is located about 5 miles south of Hilo off of Highway 11. The center is free to visit Monday through Saturday, between 8:30am to 5:00pm. When we were there a number of years ago, we took a short self-guided tour. What I enjoyed most about visiting here is that the drive to the visitors center is lined with macadamia nut trees. If you have 30 minutes to spare when you’re near Hilo, it’s worth stopping in.
- Hamakua Macadamia Nut Visitor Center in Kawaihae offers free guided factory tours everyday from 8:00 to 5:00. You can click here for a map. If you are staying on the Kohala Coast, this farm is a closer drive. They offer many flavors to try and buy.
On Oahu –
- On the windward eastern side of Oahu, there’s a macadamia nut shop and tropical farm, Tropical Farms . They offer a wide range of inventive flavored macadamia nuts for you to sample. They’re open daily from 9:30am to 5pm. See this map for directions.
Are you nuts over macadamias, too? What’s your favorite flavor? Have you visited a macadamia nut farm or factory in Hawaii? Please share your nutty experiences with macadamias in the comments.