Tom Cooper, from Cooper's Nut House, jokingly says, "I tell the
people when they come to see me here that I'm one of the few people that's
in the nuthouse that's been here for all these years without the state
or federal government paying to keep me here."
He takes a humorous approach to his work, but Tom has actually made a
serious business out of macadamia nuts. He has four hundred adult trees
on his four and a half-acre farm in Fallbrook and during the past
thirty years he figures to have sold more than 150,000 young macadamia
Tom not only serves as a consultant to many other growers, he is also
something of an inventor too, designing and creating all of his own
Standing by one of his inventions, Tom says, "this is a Cooper Macadamia
Nut Cracker. It is a machine that I designed over a period of twenty years
it about fifteen months ago and made it into a nice commercial cracker
now that's auto feeding and cracks up to 98 percent first run crack of
the nuts going through it if they're dried correctly."
Then, after the cracking, the nutmeat is separated from the shells. Describing another one of his machines, Tom points out, "This is
our Water Float Sort Machine, where you dump the cracked nuts and shells
in this basket over here. This is a little trap to help trap the shells.
The nutmeat has 75 percent oil so they tend to float and the shells sink."
Tom even took us into his kitchen where he whipped up another of his creations
famous macadamia nut pralines. While stirring the ingredients, Tom said, "they look like chocolate,
but they are actually a Southern recipe that's using sugar, buttermilk,
and it's so simple to make. It takes about twenty minutes
from start to finish and you get anywhere from eighteen to twenty of them.
And they're just absolutely delicious things."
Delicious, yes! But Tom Cooper wants you to leave with a smile on your
not just a good taste in your mouth.
His closing comment was, "I'm all the time, how would you say, "honing"
my one-liners to keep the people laughing while they're dealing with a
nut like me!"
For more jokes, recipes and directions, you can call Tom Cooper at (760)