Honey: Nectar of Gods & Beloved by Mortals
Honey: Nectar of Gods & Beloved by Mortals
Honey has been used and beloved by humans for thousands of years. This sweet, sticky substance was used in sacrifices and offerings to the Gods, used in medical treatments, and of course, to sweeten food and drinks. But what is honey?
Known by early Greek and Roman civilizations as the Nectar of the Gods, referred to in the Hittite code, found within ancient Babylonian and Sumerian cuneiforms, and Egyptian and Indian sacred scripts, honey has been written into history since, well, since history began to be written.
Each teaspoon of delicious golden honey contains the nectars of 5,000 summer flowers, personally collected one flower at a time by a devoted worker bee.
Though a painstakingly complex process, honey is essentially the storage format of bee food, meticulously tended to and preserved in the comb for hungrier winter months.
And store it does: honey never goes bad. If you found a jar of it deep in the catacombs of the Egyptian pyramids, you would be able to enjoy it as though it had been tapped from the hive yesterday.
Best Honey Practices
Honey is a complex and beautiful thing in its natural and unprocessed state.
But hydrogen peroxide, live yeasts, allergy-busting bee pollen, antioxidants, and enzymes like diastase, invertase, and glucose oxidase (the enzyme that creates hydrogen peroxide) are destroyed or deactivated by heat exceeding 37 degrees celsius. So look for raw, unpasteurized honey and avoid cooking it or overheating it.
A single ounce of delicious golden honey represents the combined efforts of no fewer than 1,000 different buzzing bees.
Honour their hard work with some of our favourite honey-featuring recipes.
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