We were in Portugal last October, where I found plenty of fantastic honeys in the farmers’ markets around the Algarve. The region has a long tradition of beekeeping with foraging for wild honey in the Iberian peninsula going back 8,000 years (the earliest know record of humans harvesting honey in the world is from La Cueva de la Arana in Bicorp, Valencia).
On this trip an intense looking honey caught my eye and palette, I found it being sold by a beekeeper in a market one morning in Faro. It was a very dark thick honey, almost black. It had an incredible malty taste and a seductive personality (is it possible to have amorous feelings towards a honey?).
The beekeeper spoke little English so I was not much wiser as to the type of honey. However in the region I had noticed a lot of Carob produce for sale so it came as no surprise when I found out that the honey in question was a raw pure Carob honey known by the Portugese as Alfarrobeira.
Carob honey is very high in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. I had not come across anything like it before however given it only compromises 5% of the region’s total honey harvest, it is no surprise that this little gem of a honey was so hard to come by in the UK.
Having looked high and low I found a supplier to deliver me some raw carob honey to my door. It arrived today (with a wild lavender honey and a heather honey) what a joy!
The carob honey by Wild about Honey is a Great Taste winner. The jar that arrived is made by bees kept by a beekeeper called Tio Antonio (I think the suppliers simply call him ‘uncle’) a 70 year old bee keeper in central Algarve (he has been keeping bees for 50 years!).
This honey is made from bees foraging on the nectar of the carob tree flowers in the autumn, a flower that is loved by the bees. It is a tree honey and it shares many characteristics of the carob fruit pod. The honeys arrived in a beautiful handmade bowl. I would love to sell this honey in the UK.