Friday, March 24, 2017

Candlenut or Aleurites moluccanus

The common names of Aleurites moluccanus, are candlenut, candleberry, varnish tree and Indian walnut (English); kukui (Hawaiian); lama (Samoan. Ancient Polynesian settlers introduced the candlenut tree, or kukui to Hawaii.

Candlenut is an evergreen tree native to Asia. The tree grows to a height of about 70 feet or 21 meters, has glossy heart-shaped leaves and small clusters of white flowers that develop into nuts. The nuts are 50 percent oil. When eaten raw, they are poisonous.
The nuts are usually roasted before being cracked open. Roasting the nuts reduces or eliminates the toxic effect.

Candlenuts have a s similar taste and texture to macadamia nuts. They are used especially in the cuisines of Hawaii, Indonesia and Malaysia. In parts of Indonesia the nuts are roasted and crushed into a sauce or cut into slivers then roasted and used as a condiment with salt and chili.

The Polynesia people used the nuts as a food source and fuel for their torches. The oil is taken as a laxative: and the wood of the tree is made into canoes. In Hawaii, the nuts are roasted then finely chopped and made into relish used in preparing raw fish.
Candlenut or Aleurites moluccanus
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