Honey, one of the most nutritious foods, known to man from the ancient times, has a lot of secrets.
Harris Tzannis, reveals some of them to the readership of The Food & Leisure Guide -an esteemed blog for bon vivants in Greece.
“Although our consuming patterns influence the production, the quality and the price of a product -thus playing an important role in the economy of a country, it is even more important for its impact on our health. Therefore it is of crucial importance to shape our consuming patterns based on knowledge. Being one of the most nutritious and popular foods, honey holds a special place in the Greek gastronomical culture. Its most important trait is that its quality and taste depends on the harvest. This means that even the same producer’s honey has a different taste depending on the year of its harvest and that the taste depends on different factors such as the location, the climate, the bees’ way of life, even the queen bee.
Especially when we talk about thyme honey, which according to the Greek Food Code must contain at least a minumum of 18% thyme pollen grains, there are other significant indications of quality. When a producer collects honey with a content of thyme pollen grains up to 30%, it is more profitable to blend it with lower quality honey until its content reaches the limit of 18%, thus doubling the quantity and lowering its cost! Furthermore, the blends require a certain thermal treatment, which also results in significant loss of its nutritional value.
Finally, a blend can ensure a uniform color and taste turning the honey from a special harvest product into a commercial mass production food of low quality.
The ideal would be to treat honey as a product that is alive, just as we do with wine, and therefore read its label looking for particular information. This way, we will certainly help the honey producers to hone their techniques and the market to function in a more competitive way towards the distribution of high quality honey. This is the best we can do not just for our taste buds, but mainly for our health”.