Article updated on 4th June 2018 Have you ever tried a macadamia nut freshly removed from its hard shell? Well, if you haven’t you just have to do it because that’s the best way to eat a macadamia!
However, removing the macadamia kernel from its incredibly hard shell is no easy feat and that’s why I would like to introduce one of the best tools I have used called the aptly named Maca Craca.
You can buy the Maca Craca here but feel free to read more…
Before I talk about the Maca Craca let me first tell of my introduction to macadamias. I first tried macadamia nuts when I was a child because our next door neighbour happened to have a flourishing tree, which they readily shared with us as they couldn’t possibly eat all the nuts it produced.
My Grandfather and I would sit on the back concrete landing with a hammer in hand and a fist full of macadamia nuts in the other. I remember him teaching me the skill of hitting the nut with just the right amount of pressure to fracture it so the kernel could be removed intact rather than smashing it into a million pieces.
Cracking a macadamia nut with a hammer was not an easy thing to do and it still isn’t! The blow not only has to be the right pressure but it has to land precisely otherwise the marble like nut will ping out at a great rate and when I look back now over the years of cracking nuts this old fashioned way it was pretty dangerous!
My Grandfather used to hold the nut in place and swing the hammer down with only millimetres to spare between his thumb, forefinger and the nut but he was an accomplished carpenter… I preferred to place the hard nut in a crack or chip in the concrete path leading to the clothesline and then bring the hammer down (with hands well clear) hoping for the best.
It literally was hit and miss with me and macadamia nuts. By today's OHS standards cracking macadamia nuts with a hammer and a good eye really should require eye protection and a roped off area, at the very least. Plus, the shattered shell poses a real problem underfoot because the sharp shards can cut like glass and it’s sometimes quite difficult to control where the tiny pieces of shell go.
Thankfully, there’s a macadamia nut cracker on the market that can make cracking this tough nut much less risky than the old “freestyle” hammer method. The Maca Craca is a simple device designed to easily and quickly secure the nut so it can be cracked with a controlled blow of a hammer on the top of the device rather than the nut itself.
The design of the Maca Craca is simple: it is a cylinder with a bolt through the centre and a hardened plastic stopper on top. Using this clever device is even easier and all that’s required is a hard surface like a concrete path, brick, or rock then it’s just a matter of placing the bottom of the cylinder over the nut, which secures it in place, and striking the top of the bolt to crack the nut – that’s it!
Forget those screw macadamia nut crackers they drive you nuts at how slow they are to use and get a real device that does the job better and faster than some cheap Chinese knock-off that'll only soon break anyway. The Maca Craca is definitely the way to go for those who enjoy raw freshness straight from the shell.
Did you know besides the great taste of a freshly cracked macadamia nut the hard shells can also be used as an organic drainage in the bottom of pots? True, just like you would use gravel or sand the extremely hard shells from the macadamia nuts can be collected by gardeners and re-used! Furthermore, the outer husks (surrounding the shells) can be composted. So there are two more reasons, besides eating, to get your macadamia nuts fresh and crack them yourself.
The other good thing about the Maca Craca is it can be purchased online on eBay here and the maker of this neat little invention posts internationally.
Presently, the cost of the Maca Craca is around $24 (add more for postage) and I think this is very reasonable for such a device. Since the original release of this article, the inventor of the Maca Craca has improved the device to help prevent smashing the kernel by accident by allowing "headroom" between the breaking mechanism and the actual nut – very clever!
Also, the new "Ultimate" version is adjustable to account for different nut sizes – this device is much faster than the screw operated crackers (which would personally drive me crackers due to the length of time between cracking each nut).
So there it is, the Maca Craca… Not just a great name but a top little device that really works as it should to make shelling the hardest nut in the world safe and easy!
Here's a video showing the Maca Craca in action
Feel free to leave a comment below or join our forum to chat more about this product.
Mark Valencia – Editor SSM
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