Since prehistoric times people knew how to make honey and use it in their diet. According to scientists, bees appeared on our planet 65 million years ago. Up until the 15th Century, honey was the only sweetener in the then known world. Τhe history of honey in Greek gastronomy might be richer than we believe, join us as we begin a new journey exploring what honey really means to Greeks!
Honey in Ancient Greece
The relationship between Greeks and bees begun in the distant past of the mythical era. The gods of Olympus used to consume nectar and ambrosia. In ancient Athens, beekeeping and the production of honey were extremely organized. In fact, Solon (640-558 BC), one of the first legislators, defined by law the distances that should exist between beekeepers. This was the only way they could avoid misunderstandings about ownership of flocks.
In fact, Aristotle’s writings on animal stories reveal to a great extent the importance of honey. Bee society can be a model for the design, structure, and hierarchy of an ideal state, with the great Greek philosopher proceeding to make glass flock in order to find out how the bees work and live.
Τhe history of honey in Greek gastronomy is obvious through the Iliad and Odyssey and other great works of ancient Greeks. Actually, a number of ancient gastronomical treats with honey emerge. From the “mitotos”, a pie with cheese, oil, honey, and garlic, to “melikraton”, milk and honey alloy, and the very well-known “loukoumades”, pancakes fried in oil and covered with honey. This sweet golden liquid was one of the basic ingredients of nutrition for the ancient Greeks.
Honey in Greece today
Greece is today the 7th country with more production of honey every year in the European Union. It features a number of honey products with protected designation of origin by the EU, such as “Pefkothymaromelo Kritis”, a particular blend of thyme and pine honey produced in Crete. Crete boasts the highest density of bees in the world.
After our journey through the history of honey in Greek gastronomy, follow us as we take a stroll through Greece’s hidden cookbooks and discover delicious honey recipes! And if you haven’t tried our most recent recipe yet, what are you waiting for?