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Macadamia - Macadamia integrifolia - is a tree in the Proteaceae family, native to Queensland in Australia. The Macadamia is a medium-sized tree which can grow to approximately 20 m in height with a similar crown width, giving the tree a rounded shape; its leaves are simple with toothed margins and are 7 to 15 cm in length. The flowers are white or pinkish followed by woody, rounded fruits which are 2 to 3.5 cm in diameter.
The story of the macadamia began thousands of years ago, in the rainforest along the north east coast of Australia. Before European settlement, Aboriginal people congregated on the eastern slopes of Australia’s Great Dividing Range to feed on the seed of two evergreen trees, one of which they called ‘Kindal Kindal’ which was the macadamia. Aboriginal people had other names for macadamia including Boombera, Jindill & Baupal. Macadamias were not staple fare; they were considered a delicacy and were treasured and collected wherever they were found. They were also traded between tribes and used as special ceremonial gifts at inter-tribal corroborees. Aboriginal women would collect macadamias in their coolamons or dilly bags and take them to their feasting grounds. They would remove the husk and crack the shells using stones with special indentations. This technique involved placing the flat indented stone over the nut and then striking it with a larger stone, delivering an even force and minimising the damage to the kernel.
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