Honey as a Souvenir

 In TasteHistory

Salted caramel, a flavour option currently ubiquitous in ice cream, chocolate and even coffee, is enjoying something of a renaissance. In one of his easier to replicate recipes, the first century AD cook book author, Apicius recommends rolling dates stuffed with finely chopped walnuts in salt and then caramelising them by frying the dates in honey. Ever practical, the culinophile suggests serving these moreish appetizers on oiled bay leaves to prevent them sticking to the plate or your fingers.

Writing in around 1300 about the aftermath of the 870 AD Arab attack on Malta, Al Himyari describes the island as an ‘uninhabited ruin, visited..by those who collect honey, because it is the most common thing there.’

The French knight Jean Quintin d’Autun also refers to Maltese honey in his report of 1536, praising its quality ‘because bees produce it from thyme, violets and other flowers.’

In 1841 honey is still wowing visitors to the island. In his travelogue ‘Rambles in Malta and Sicily’, G.F. Angas records that ‘The honey is highly esteemed; that made by the bees of Mellieħa is reckoned the best; its price is 8d per pound.’

Honey will be the subject of a cookalong webinar being held on May 27th, 2021, at 7 pm. For more information and to register, click the following link – https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_U_jBwCdASBCZTlIPmf9cSA

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