Speed Reads

let them eat nuts

Macadamia nuts are having a moment thanks to Korean Air tantrum

Bad publicity for Korean Air Lines has turned into a boost for Hawaii's macadamia nut industry.

After boarding a flight earlier this month in New York City, Cho Hyun-ah, vice president of cabin service for the airline, demanded that the flight attendant who served her macadamia nuts in a bag and not on a tray leave the plane. This turned into a surprise scandal in South Korea, where sales are now up for this nut, previously unfamiliar to many.

"Any type of publicity is good for the industry," Hawaii Macadamia Nut Association President John Cross told The Associated Press. Cross said that macadamia nuts are not well-known outside of Hawaii and the West Coast. Almost all of the macadamias grown in the state come from the Big Island — Hawaii is home to more than 700 farms and eight packing plants — but the nuts also come from Central America, South Africa, and Australia.