The Honey Age
Here are some fun facts to give you a taste of the important role honey has played in civilization:
The ancient healers also recognized honey for its antioxidant properties in fighting disease, including cancer. It has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for sore throats and coughs (it’s a natural expectorant), and according to recent research, may in fact be more effective than some OTC medicines. Combine honey with lemon juice and heat until warm, then consume slowly to coat the throat and ease discomfort. Honey can also be used as an effective antimicrobial agent to treat minor burns, cuts, and other bacterial infections.
soften hard ulcers of the lips, heal carbuncles and running sores."
(Greek physician who lived to the ripe old age of 115, c. 460-375 BC)
Built in the 4th century BC, the ancient healing spa Asklepieion (Ἀσκληπιεῖον), named after the god of healing and medicine, Aesculapius, boasted a honey therapy that was renowned throughout all of the Mediterranean.
(Greek philosopher who lived to the age of 109, c. 460-370 BC)
Bee My Honey
You can find honey in three basic forms: comb honey (with the liquid still in the comb), chunk-style honey (honey with pieces of comb in the jar), and liquid honey (extracted from the comb and often pasteurized to prevent crystallization). Pasteurizing changes the delicate flavor of the honey but isn’t needed to preserve it…keep in mind that crystallization is not a bad thing (for info on re-liquefying honey, check next week's part 2 of our honey blog). Commercial honeys can be overly processed and may contain sugar, completely altering the taste of something that needs no alteration.
In Karpathos, it comes from family-owned bee farms and is extracted from their own honeycombs. Greek honey is especially high in vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and minerals.
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Kali oreksi! Good appetite!
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