Mandarin honey from Ciaculli
Slow Food Foundation protected area.
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Mandarin honey is pale yellow and crystallizes very slowly while maintaining its creaminess. It’s excellent for desserts, spread on bread, dissolved in tea or eaten with cheese with a strong flavour.
To make this honey, bees pollinate the flowers on the mandarin trees in Ciaculli, which is also a Slow Food Foundation protected area.
It’s not true that all bees are yellow and black. There are also dark bees, and the Apis mellifera sicula is just one example. This autochthonous breed has populated Sicily for millenniums, even though bee keeping has been progressively abandoned since the 70’s, almost risking the complete extinction of this bee.
Different definitions of honey have been provided over the centuries: Nectar of the gods, sweetness from the heavens, celestial dew... the fact is that honey is a dynamic food that is always good, energetic, easy to digest, nutritious, detoxifying and excellent for those with liver problems.
The honey from the Ape Nera Sicula is extracted by centrifugal force, does not undergo any heat treatments (which would inevitably damage the honey’s integrity), is extracted from beehives that have not been treated with chemicals, rather with completely natural products (thymol, menthol), and consequently experiences the natural process of crystallization (a physical phenomenon because honey is a supersaturated solution of simple sugars, which tend to stabilize by solidifying at cold temperatures).
Very few honey varieties are always liquid in nature (for example acacia, some chestnuts and the astragalus nebrodensis).
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