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Honey

Sardinian Honey Culture and Sapa di Miele

 Sardinian honey boasts unique scents, flavours and nutrition values, mainly on account of the endemic plant and flower species found on the island, including some found nowhere else in the world. Various types of mono floral honeys are produced, including eucalyptus, citrus fruit, heather, rockrose, rosemary, myrtle, thyme, chestnut, lavender and clover, not forgetting the highly sought after and entirely typical and exclusive cardoon, strawberry bush and asphodel blossom honeys. Honey is widely used, mainly as an ingredient in various traditional sweets, pastries and cakes, and has long been part of the Sardinians’ diet.

Its ancient roots in Sardinia are found in the myth of Aristaeus who legend has it introduced to the island the grape, the olive and beekeeping. Indeed, a small bronze figure of this god, found in the Medde (meaning honey!) locality near Oliena shows him covered with bees. In the Sardinian traditional beekeeping method, honey is collected from cork skeps by cutting the honeycombs directly in the apiary, after bees have been forced to escape by smoke blowing and by brushing them away with a bundle of aromatic herbs.

 

 

 

CAIDDU

 Apiaresos – Associazione Apicoltori della Sardegna

“Abba e Mele” Sapa di Miele di Sardegna

 Known by the name of “Abba e mele”, “Saba di mele” or more commonly “sapa di miele”. In Sardinia, honey sapa means above all “su pani de Saba”, the classic bread of the couple, seasoned with or without dried fruit.

Apperance

Abba e Mele is dark with a complex concentrated flavour.

Taste and aroma

It is not too sweet, seasoned giving structure and flavour to the typical foods of rustic cuisine, chickpea and chestnut soups, boiled beans and cooked vegetables.

Pairings

In addition to the preparation of desserts, the abba e mele is excellent with fresh ricotta, fresh cheeses, yogurt and ice cream.

 

Acacia’s Honey

Thanks to its energizing characteristic and its important baggage of vitamins, mineral salts and amino acids, acacia honey represents an important restorative food to recover after a long recovery or after a seasonal illness.

Appearance

Compared with traditional honey, it’s often much lighter in colour, appearing almost transparent and very rarely crystallizes.

Taste and aroma

Acacia’s honey has a flower-like aroma and sweet, delicate flavour.

Pairings

The very delicate flavour of acacia honey has sweet vanilla notes and a slight acidity. Acacia honey and goes well with medium-aged cheeses such as Pecorino Romano, all goat and sheep cheeses, hard or soft and drizzle on pastries.

Asphodelus Honey

Produced in spring, this honey comes from the asphodel flower of Sardinia, a beautiful wild plant that characterizes our pastures.

Appearance

Asphodel honey is an example of culinary delicacy: it has a golden yellow colour (with more or less marked shades), clear and bright.

Taste and aroma

The vegetable aroma is very refined and intense, reminiscent of meadows, fresh grass, white and intoxicating flowers after a small morning drizzle.

Pairings

Given the transparent and delicate nature of this honey with a fine flavour, we can only recommend it with delicate flavours: dairy products, fresh cheeses, herbal teas, fresh fruit, vanilla or yogurt spoon desserts and to sweeten the coffee. It also goes well with lettuce, used as a dip.

Chestnuts Honey

Generally, does not crystallize. It is a honey for connoisseurs: those who do not like too sweet flavours.

Appearance

Dark amber colour, with reddish reflections. Almost black in certain production areas with a characteristic, strong, slightly pungent.

Taste and aroma

Intense, penetrating. Bitter aftertaste, more or less strong according to the territory of origin.

Pairings

Excellent in Sardinian Fritters with cheese.

Citrus Honey

Citrus honey is characterized by the richness of vitamin B12, which it is known in the medical environment for the positive effects it causes on the nervous system and brain for relaxation.

Appearance

Citrus honey colour may vary from clear to white.

Taste and aroma

Citrus honey is characterized by an intense fruity, floral aroma and a very light colour reminiscent of orange blossoms.

Pairing

With light cheese as goat cheese and yoghurt. Great in teas.

Clover Honey

Clover is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Fabaceae family. Clover honey is sourced from wild bees near clover plants in the Sardinian country side.

Appearance

Clover honey has a very light colour, almost transparent when it is liquid, while it takes on shades of off-white when it crystallizes. Crystallization, a natural process that affects many types of honey, tends to be regular and creates fine-grained crystals.

Taste and aroma

Clover Honey is almost fragrance-free, not very intense but delicate. On the olfactory level it is often described as vegetable and with the scent of white flowers. The taste, however, recalls the flavour of ripe bananas, milk candies and fresh legumes.

Pairings

Precisely because of its delicate flavour, it is used to sweeten drinks, sweets and breads. In addition, it is often associated with different types of cheese, from goats to mountain cheeses of different ages. Some add it to vegetable or fruit purees, but also to lard and spice mashed.

 

Comb Honey

Comb honey is the purest, rawest honey available. You cannot get more “raw” and “natural” than comb honey. Comb honey is basically a chunk of the hexagonal shaped beeswax cells of the honeycomb, each cell filled with raw honey, exactly at the bees packed it. There’s no filtering, processing or rearranging of the raw product by human hands.

While the “untouched honey” aspect is awesome, the real appeal of comb honey isn’t just the ultra-raw honey in the comb, but the actual comb itself. The wax cells of honeycomb are not only edible, but very beneficial.  The comb is more nutritious than the honey itself, containing a natural antibiotic, bee pollen, some residual royal jelly and large amounts of propolis.

Honeycomb wax also contains even more of the allergy alleviating properties that honey is well known for. The International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association believes that honeycomb (no matter the geographical origin) is one of the best natural cures for allergies and asthma.

Appearance

The honeycomb is composed of hexagonal cells with walls that are only 2/1000th of an inch thick, but it is capable of supporting 25 times its own weight. It’s solid and sturdy while at the same time delicate and fragile.

Taste and aroma

Each batch of honey retains the floral essences of the plants from which it was made, without any processing to strip the rich flavours. Therefore, the two intricate flavour medleys of honey and comb add an overall combination of flavours, textures, and aromas that extracted honey just doesn’t have.

Pairings

Honeycomb pairs well with a variety of cheeses, mature cheeses like Pecorino Romano and goat cheeses.

 

Eucalyptus Honey

The eucalyptus plant is particularly widespread in Sardinia, thanks in part to its ability to act as a windbreak.

Appearance

Eucalyptus honey is amber in colour with more or less dark shades according to the period in which it is honeyed; it tends to crystallize very quickly and compactly, with fine and medium-sized crystals. During this phase the honey changes its appearance, becoming lighter and lighter until it stabilizes on a colour tending towards ivory.

Taste and aroma

Its sweetness is less prominent than other honeys and leaves a slightly salty aftertaste; the aroma remains constant, without variations in intensity and vaguely recalls that of liquorice, toffee, and dried porcini mushrooms.

Pairings

Very suitable for breakfast or combined with slightly sour cheeses.

 

Heather Arborea

In Sardinia, Erica Arborea has white or pinkish flowers, it is spread throughout the island, which is particularly important for honey production. The very early bloom (January–March) of E. Arborea can be a limiting factor for honey production, depending on the seasonal weather conditions and the presence of other competitive blooms.

Appearance

It has a dark amber colour with orange hues that turns light brown when crystallized.  It has a high ash content and a low diastase activity.

Taste and aroma

It is very fragrant almost pungent spicy, with a woody, caramel aroma. Normally sweet with a strong, sharp, slightly bitter taste. Caramel and cocoa flavour.

Pairings

It is well matched with medium to strong cheeses, excellent with aged cheese.

Helichrysum Honey

Traditionally, the leaves of Helichrysum are used like Rosemary to flavour Mediterranean dishes and salads. “Mediterranean Curry” contains Helichrysun, Onion, Rosemary, Wild Fennel, and Thyme is used to spice meats and stuffing alongside of breads. An expensive Italian honey, Miele di Spiagia (seashore honey).

Appearance

Helichrysum honey is, more precisely, a floral honey embellished directly by bees, with essential oils that take from the Helichrysum flower.

Taste and aroma

Clear and amber, creamy and dense. Extremely peculiar and aromatic, it has the flavour of the Mediterranean wilderness and the essential oils of the plants that grow there: cyst, arbutus, thymus and helichrysum.

Pairings

With a slightly bitter aftertaste, it is grate on cheeses or to best taste its unique peculiarities on slices of toast.

Mediterranean Scrubland Honeys

With a huge range of scrubs, Sardinia produces lovely ” Macchia Mediterranea”. Mediterranean scrub honey is the typical wildflower of the mountainous areas of Sardinia, where the spontaneous blooms of Erica Arborea, Lavandula, Asphodels, Cistus, Rosemary and a varied number of thistles give rise to an ever new and intriguing mix.

Appearance

It has an amber colour, varying from light to dark depending on the collection area, it is very nutritious, when the honey is richer of asphodels, it is lighter and with a gentle taste; when cistus prevails, the honey will be darker and with a stronger taste.

Taste and aroma

It is a truly unique product whose aromas and flavours are extremely variable and distinguishable according to the production area.  It is these “games” of nature that allow the consumer, every year, to have new aromas and new flavours.

Pairings

Mediterranean scrub honey is therefore incredibly multifaceted and capable of accompanying the most varied dishes depending on the characteristics of the season. It can be used on ice cream, in fruit salads, preparing biscuits and cakes, with soft cheeses, pear preserve, grilled meats and curry.

 

Myrtle Honey

MYRTLE “Myrfus Communis” it is a shrub that can reach 3 meters in height. It has very fragrant flowers, white or pink and rich in stamens. Sardinian Myrtle (pollen of flowers of mirtacee) honey is above all produced in the uncontaminated Natural Reserve Of Monte Arcosu in the Campidano area.

Appearance:

Dark amber in liquid state, beige-grey if crystallized

Taste and aroma

Slightly balsamic, reminiscent of its flower. A rare honey with a very velvety and particular taste.

Pairings

Sweet, pronounced. Note It is a limited production honey, not easy to find.

Orange Honey

One of the best-known uses of orange honey is to relax and soothe.

Appearance

Orange honey crystallizes within couple of months after the harvest. Light amber to yellow colour.

Taste and aroma

With its intense aromas of orange blossom and fruit, the fine and harmonious taste, it is honey to be shared in moments of joy and love.

Pairings

Best in herbal teas, in coffee particular taste. Used in traditional Sardinian desserts.

Rock Rose Honey (Cistus)

Rich in mineral salts, it has been used with success by athletes and for centuries in traditional medicine due to its energising properties. Rockrose, the source of this honey, is the Sardinian scrub’s most common shrub. The honey is dark in colour and has a slightly grainy texture, a very intense smell and a slightly salty flavour.

Appearance

Cistus honey has definite dark amber colour with shades of red-brown.

Taste and aroma

Spicy scents, and a strong characteristic aroma with a slightly bitter and salty aftertaste, pronounced, intense and persistent flavour.

Pairing

Rock Rose honey goes well with cheeses with different maturation, including smoked or spicy ricotta cheese.

Rosemary Honey

Appearance

Light amber, with yellow reflections in the liquid state, ivory when crystallized. Crystallized rosemary honey has a granulated texture and an opaque colour.

Taste and aroma

The purer your rosemary honey, meaning the less contaminated with other flower nectars it is, the more exquisite its taste. Its aromatic profile includes mild floral and faint fruity notes as well as herbal or vegetal aromas. There are also no traces of acidity or bitterness in its flavour profile.

Pairings

Rosemary honey is to enjoy it raw, whether on bread, salad or even served with meat, in room temperature tea, on fruit or on its own.

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus) Honey)

Strawberry Tree honey is not for everyone, but its strong bitter flavour is loved by gourmet and honey connoisseurs worldwide. Known in Sardinia as a Miele Amaro (Bitter Honey). This delicacy is produced from the unusual and beautiful evergreen shrub of the Arbutus or Strawberry Tree (Arbutus Unedo),

Appearance

Strawberry tree honey has a very intense amber colour, while it changes to more or less light hazelnut when it crystallizes (which happens rather quickly over time), turning into a very fine and soft paste.

Taste and aroma

The aroma of strawberry tree honey is very particular and difficult to describe; it can remind you of ground coffee, or hints of vaguely pungent ivy leaves. When tasted, it is striking for the intensity of its taste and bitter aroma.

Pairings

In addition to complex elaborations of the highest level, it is perfect as an accompaniment to spicy cheeses and pecorino cheese, on seasoned lard, with ricotta and on ice-cream.

 

Sulla Honey (Hedysarium Coronarium) Italian Sainfoin

It is the honey of sportsmen par excellence, because it contains high-quality fructose and numerous trace elements, such as zinc, copper, magnesium, iron, manganese.

Appearance

Straw yellow colour, Light colour, almost white when crystallizes.

Taste and aroma

Slightly vegetal aroma, almost odourless, not very intense, similar to acacia honey, has a delicate flavour, pleasant aroma, though with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Pairings

It goes well with yogurt, fresh fruit and anything else that needs to be sweetened without altering the flavour of the food. Excellent for sweetening tea, herbal teas, milk, coffee.

 

Thistle Honey

Thistles begin to bloom from the first months of the year around March-April, and flowering lasts until early May; widely spread throughout the area, we find thistle plants especially in river areas, pastures and in the non-cultivated countryside.

Appearance

Thistle honey is amber in colour, with more or less light shades; when it crystallizes its colour, it turns into much lighter tones; crystallization is usually quite rapid, changing into a fairly compact amber mass.

Taste and aroma

The aroma is rich and vaguely spicy: reminiscent of cinnamon with a slight presence of nutmeg; it shows a very sweet floral component reminiscent of red fruit jams and a stronger and thinner one like freshly tanned leather.

Pairings

Recommended in black and strong teas, on meat dishes and to accompany tasty cheeses, making their sourness more homogeneous.

 

Thyme Honey

Appearance

Its colour is amber with a tendency to become brown and usually with time and the lowering of the temperature the honey solidifies.

Taste and aroma

The taste of thyme honey is very similar to that of eucalyptus perhaps because it shares the aroma of the essential oils that remain inside the honey itself and give it a particularly intense flavour. The tasters give it the characteristics of a strong, spicy aroma, which recalls aromatic wood, mulled wine and cloves. Its sweetness is medium with an aromatic flavour that remains persistent in the mouth and ends with a balsamic aftertaste.

Pairings

Honey spread on well-toasted brown or wholemeal bread and accompanied with slices of fruit or hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews and pine nuts. Its thyme flavour makes it a perfect combination with flavourful mature cheeses.

 

Wildflower Honey

This honey is obtained from the nectar of various native wildflowers, mostly present in Sardinian grasses. Its properties vary according to the place of production and the specific plant species included.

Appearance

Wildflower honey has a colour that varies according to the flowers it comes from and can fade from very light amber to dark amber.

Taste and aroma

The flavour varies from delicate, pleasantly floral to very aromatic.

Pairings

It is suitable for sweetening and for the preparation of sweets. Particularly suitable with bread and butter.

Wild Lavender Honey

Wild lavender honey has well-defined peculiarities, fragrant of aromatic plants, intense characteristic flavour.

Appearance

In its liquid form, it has a colour ranging from straw yellow to amber. However, this type of honey has a strong tendency to crystallization, which occurs fairly quickly and leads to the formation of medium and small crystals, also changing their colour (beige-white).

Taste and aroma

The aroma and taste are decidedly particular, described as quite intense, with a fruity aroma. Excellent in evening herbal teas

Ognia cosa a tempu suu!

Everything in its time

 

MIELE 2 TIPICO A TAVOLA CONFESERCENTI NUORO E OGLIASTRA
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