THE GREEK HONEY: QUALITY, FLAVOR, AROMA
To safeguard the specific characteristics of the species of honey collected in Greece, the identification of eight types of honey is determined: pine, spruce, chestnut, heather, thyme, orange, cotton and sunflower. In each type there are characteristics from dozens plants – wildflowers, herbs and trees. The name of honey is given by the type of the plant, which excels. Generally, the honey produced in Greece is divided into two major categories:
- Blossom honey or nectar, which is produced from the nectar of flowers (thyme, orange, heather, cotton, sunflower and mixtures of herbs and wild flowers).
- Honeydew honey, which is produced from pine, spruce and other forest plants.
Honey made of pine is produced only in Greece and Turkey. It’s not too dark honeydew, not too sweet, with a more pleasant aroma than most honeys of forest. It is very slow to crystallization and has high biological and nutritional value due to the high concentration of trace elements, up to six times more than the honey of flowers.
Honey is produced almost everywhere in Greece, however some places that stand out include-
- Crete and Kythera are renowned for their thyme honey.
- Vytina, in the Peloponnese highlands around Tripoli, is renowned for its fir honey.
- In Halkidiki, about 30% of all Greek honey is produced.
- The Dodecanese is a major commercial producer.
- Epirus is home to some of the most unusual honey, especially bittersweet chestnut honey.