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.
Dec 2017 -update
The drought conditions in Portugal this year, means that the Arbutus flowers did not have much nectar this year, so the harvest is like;y to be very limited. Fortunately we have plenty from last years amazing crop so we should still have enough of this unique and special honey for you into the new year.
Our current batch of Arbutus is the creamy pure Arbutus from Monchique.
The harvest has just come in and the honey has not crystallized yet, so at present you might receive it in its runny, dark red form. The mild winter has seen lots of rain and the Eucalyptus flowers have continued long into the winter so there is a slightly higher proportion of Eucalyptus in the Arbutus honey this year, making it slightly sweeter but still unmistakably Arbutus bitter honey.
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.
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