Greece is well know for apiculture. The temperate climate of Greece supports rich flora from which honeybees gather nectar. Certain varieties of flora are found only in Greece. Hence, certain varieties of Greek honey such as the Thyme honey are not found anywhere in the world. Nectar is derived from coniferous trees, flowers as well as the aromatic plants. If any one of the floral variety dominates then the honey will have that specific flavor. Honey made from the nectar derived from flowers of oregano, rosemary and thyme plants has a unique flavor.The exceptional taste of Greek honey makes it the preferred honey across the world. In fact, Greece is one of the top nations making large amount of this natural product. Most of the Greek honey comes is the honey dew variety that is collected from Fir and pine trees. Here is an overview of varieties and benefits of Greek honey.
Varieties of Greek honey
Basically there are three varieties of Greek honey.
- Mono floral variety is mostly derived from plants such as orange blossom, heather, chestnut, and thyme.
- Anthomela/Poly floral variety is derived from various wild herbs, aromatic plants such as eucalyptus and lavender.
- Dasomela/Honeydew variety is derived from the secretion of small insects namely aphids that are found on forest trees.
Properties of Greek honey
Each of the Greek honey variety has got their own properties. Some of the commonly observed properties include:
- Dense in nature due to less water content.
- Dark colored varieties are concentrated with various nutrients such as trace elements and also have high nutritional value.
- Polyfloral varieties are generally light in color with exceptional flavor and smell .
Various categories and benefits of Greek honey
There a number of Greek honey varieties depending on the floral source. Each of them has a distinguishable feature.
- Meli Thymarisio/ Thyme honey : This aromatic honey obtained from Thyme tree is very bright in color with exceptional taste. It is the best quality honey that is produced in Greece and is famous worldwide. It gets crystallized within 6-18 months. It serves as an antiseptic agent and boosts the immune system activity. Hence, it is used to heal wounds and also as an effective remedy for food poisoning. It clears the blocked pores and also serves as a toner by helping the skin cells to rejuvenate. The component thymol present in this honey is responsible for the antiseptic action. This wonderful honey is also found to show positive effect against tumors. However, it is yet to be proved experimentally.
- Meli Portokalias/Orange blossom honey : It is known for its exceptional smell and flavor. It gets crystallized within a short period of three months. It is light in color and becomes white after crystallization. Orange blossom honey with a component hesperidin serves as a strong anti-oxidant.
- Meli Ilianthou/ Sunflower honey : This honey derived from sunflower is light in color. It gets crystallized within two months and the color changes to yellowish blue after crystallization. It is rich in polyphenols that help in free radical elimination.
- Meri Erikis/ Heather honey : This honey is known for its high nutritious value. It has got a very sweet smell and flavor and serves as a toner. It gets crystallized within three months and starts to look reddish.
- Meli Kastanias/ chestnut honey : This honey has a slight bitter taste. It takes very long time of about 1-2 years to crystallize. Unlike other honey varieties it is resistant to heat and can be stored for longer periods than other varieties. Chestnut honey helps to improve blood circulation.
- Peykomelo/Pine honey : This honeydew variety of Greek honey is produced from pine trees. It is rich in nutrients such as proteins, amino acids and minerals. However, it has got very less calories compared to pollen honey varieties. Pine honey has a got a unique taste that is not very sweet and is loved by majority of honey lovers.
- Meli Vamvakiou/ Cotton honey : This is a light colored that gets crystallized within three months. The high amount of hydrogen peroxide found in this honey serves as an anti-bacterial agent. It is also used as an ingredient in the making of certain types of cosmetics and beauty lotions. As feared by many cotton honey is not contaminated with pesticides as the bees die when they feed on nectar of pesticide sprayed cotton plants.
- Meli Elatis-Vanilla/ Vanilla Fir honey : This is a variety of Greek honey with very few calories. Its distinguishing feature is it does not crystallized at all.
In addition to the above stated specific benefits of Greek honey varieties they offer some common benefits such as
- Source of energy : Being loaded with sugars, it serves as a very good source of honey. Just add it to your morning tea and continue to remain energetic.
- Excellent for cooking : The exceptional taste of Greek honey makes it a perfect addition to sauces and also for stuffing duck and chicken. Because of its exception taste, Greek honey is considered as queen of Greek foods.
- Great staple food : One of the interesting benefits of Greek honey varieties are they are devoid of pesticides as Greek mountains with huge plantations remain undisturbed with chemicals. Hence, it is a safe and healthy staple food.
- Anti-cancer property : Certain Greek honey varieties are found to contain a compound manool that is found to inhibit the rapid cell multiplication observed in cancer.
Because of its health benefits, Greek honey is a part of Mediterranean diet.
Some amazing Greek honey recipes and remedies
- Greek yoghurt: This is very thick yoghurt with huge amounts of aromatic hone.
- Baklava: This famous Greece recipe is made by mixing Greek honey with sesame seeds, cinnamon and almonds. It has got a very sweet taste and sticky nature.
Home remedies with Thyme honey for a healthy skin
- Thyme honey and olive oil: mix one teaspoon each of Greek thyme honey and olive oil along with egg yolk. Apply this to face and wash it with warm water after fifteen minutes. This is a perfect remedy for dry skin.
- Thyme honey and oatmeal: Mix little amount of oatmeal with Thyme honey and apply the paste to the face. Allow it stay for 15 minutes and wash it off with warm water to have a tight rejuvenated skin.
The enormous benefits of Greek honey make it the preferred honey variety across the globe. This honey free of pesticides is also safe to use. Nutrient rich Greek honey with unique flavor and aroma gives excellent taste when used in cooking. Hence, start having high quality Greek honey everyday to rejuvenate the body.