Arbutus Unedo "bitter honey", an highly medicinal honey, also known as Strawberry Tree honey, comes from only three places, southern Portugal, Sardinia, Corsica and Greece. it has a truly unusual bitter/sweet complex multi layered taste and is not for the unadventurous! The closest way to describe it might be a bitter caramel. ( though some have used adjectives like "psychedelic".). To be honest we were a little doubtful when we introduced Arbutus honey to the UK, we wondered whether the bitterness might be too much, but so far you've proved our doubts baseless.
Arbutus honey contains Homogentisic acid, a powerful phenolic acid.The antioxidant and antibacterial qualities of this honey are truly exceptional and it is one of the most antioxidant as well as antibacterial honeys in the world. Studies we have seen suggest that this is possibly the most antioxidant rich honey available much more so than Buckwheat or Chestnut honey.
Anecdotal evidence we have heard also suggests this honey does not cause blood sugar to spike and is often used locally by diabetics.(This is not a medical claim- please consult your doctor if you are diabetic). It is also known to be beneficial for lung health.
Arbutus honey is extremely rare and made in limited quantities and not necessarily every year, we source our Arbutus honey from 3 different sources each of which are quite distinct in character. This year Joao and Mario, both local Monchique beekeepers produced all our Arbutus honey.and they are pretty indistinguishable.
The Arbutus honey you buy can vary in flavour and texture over time depending on which source it came from. Some are very bitter and some are sweeter with a small percentage of Portuguese heather or Eucalyptus. They are all wonderful and beneficial. Arbutus honey is typically very expensive, but we try to bring it to you at a reasonable price so it remains accessible and not exclusive or prohibitive like active Manuka honey.
If Carob is the King, then Arbutus is the Grand Wizard.....
The bees forage on the Arbutus Bush, an evergreen that has many medicinal properties and flowers in winter.
April 2019 -update
This last winter was fortunately an excellent one for Arbutus honey, winter moisture, followed by mild days with plenty of sunshine, meant abundant flowers, followed by plenty of foraging time for the bees, as a result this year, we have lovely low moisture content, medium bitterness and a fantastically balanced honey. This is a Good Year, it's worth stockpiling.
Our current batch of Arbutus is the creamy pure Arbutus from Monchique and the vicinity.
This is pure highly active honey with astonishing antibacterial properties. Like an highly active Manuka without the price tag.
This is quite simply the best and purest Arbutus honey available.
Honey and Crystallization. Crystallization is a completely natural process and occurs with all raw honey. The speed and size of the crystallization depends on variations in the balance of sugars, ambient temperature and to some extent water content If your honey is set hard, you can loosen it up by placing it in a pan of hand hot water, (and repeat as necessary) using a spoon placed in hot water first and of course storing it in a sunny/warm place in the house.
please call or email us if you require any help making a bulk purchase. Thanks