Everything You Need to Know About Greek Honey

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pouring honeyHoney is an important part of Greek cuisine. It is often referred to as the “nectar of the gods” and with good reason – it’s sweet and delicious and a substance worthy of any deity. This sweet delicacy is used throughout the country in desserts, to sweeten beverages, and even in savory cooking.

Greek honey is a real art, and you can find honey for purchase all over the country. In fact, it makes for a great souvenir! You’ll definitely want to bring some home with you while in Greece. Here’s more information about this traditional Greek sweetener:

Art of Honey Production in Greece

Since then, I’ve learned that Greek honey is a real art. Beekeepers control the types of flowers the bees can feast on as a way to alter the taste. In some regions, beekeepers have no choice but to produce certain types of honey. After all, it depends on the vegetation that grows near them.

Greek honey is made by people all over the country who tend their bees traditionally. The knowledge is passed down from one generation to the next, and it is something that has become an important part of not only the cuisine, but also the culture. The honeybees also thrive in the Greek climate, as do the flowers that they depend on.

Types of Greek Honey Available

So, what kind of Greek Honey is there? The type of honey you end up with depends on the region of Greece, as well as the preferences of the beekeeper. Here’s a roundup of the types you can find:

  • Pine – this makes up the majority of Greek honey that is found in the stores. About 65% of Greek honey that is produced has come from pine.
  • Thyme – the unique flavor of this honey came about because the bees obtained the nectar primarily from thyme flowers
  • Dandelion – dandelion honey has a creamy appearance, and comes about when bees feast on dandelion flowers.
  • Chestnut – chestnut trees grow all over Greece, and honey made from chestnut blossoms as a sweet, floral taste.
  • Orange – orange blossom honey gives off a faint orange and floral scent, and it is a popular choice in desserts like baklava, especially when orange peel is also used in the syrup.

Cooking with Greek Honey

When it comes to cooking Greek food, you definitely want to use authentic Greek honey when you cook. After all, it gives each of the dishes you cook an authenticity that you can’t achieve with honey produced elsewhere on the world. You will also want to choose the type of Greek honey that complements the dish.

For example, orange blossom honey is a great choice when making baklava, especially when a few orange peels are added to the syrup. It can also be used to sweeten beverages, to top Greek yogurt, and to use in recipes that call for honey. Other desserts honey is used in include  melamakarona, a type of soft cookie, and loukoumades, which are a form of fried dough that are drenched in honey after they’re cooked.

When cooking traditional Greek foods that call for honey, it somehow doesn’t taste the same unless authentic Greek honey is used.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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