Project Description

Meet Ef Zin Greek Honey

 

Honey collection is an ancient activity. Humans apparently began hunting for honey at least 8,000 years ago, as evidenced by a cave painting in Valencia, Spain. The painting is a Mesolithic rock painting, showing two honey hunters collecting honey and honeycomb from a wild bee nest. The figures are depicted carrying baskets or gourds, and using a ladder or series of ropes to reach the wild nest.

The oldest known honey remains were found in the country of Georgia. Archaeologists found honey remains on the inner surface of clay vessels unearthed in an ancient tomb, dating back some 4,700–5,500 years. In ancient Georgia, several types of honey were buried with a person for their journey into the afterlife, including linden, berry, and meadow-flower varieties.

In ancient Egypt, honey was used to sweeten cakes and biscuits, and was used in many other dishes. Ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern peoples also used honey for embalming the dead.The fertility god of Egypt, Min, was offered honey.

In ancient Greece, honey was produced from the Archaic to the Hellenistic periods. In 594 BC,beekeeping around Athens was so widespread that Solon passed a law about it: “He who sets up hives of bees must put them 300 feet (91 metres) away from those already installed by another”. Greek archaeological excavations of pottery located ancient hives.  According to Columella, Greek beekeepers of the Hellenistic period did not hesitate to move their hives over rather long distances to maximise production, taking advantage of the different vegetative cycles in different regions.

In the absence of sugar, honey was an integral sweetening ingredient in Greek and Roman cuisine. During Roman times, honey was part of many recipes and it is mentioned in the work of many authors, such as Virgil, Pliny, Cicero, and others.

Honey is produced by bees collecting nectar for use as sugars consumed to support metabolism of muscle activity during foraging or to be stored as a long-term food supply. Honey is collected from wild bee colonies or from domesticated beehives. The honey is stored in honeycombs. Because of its unique composition and chemical properties, honey is suitable for long-term storage, and is easily assimilated even after long preservation.  Over its history as a food,the main uses of honey are in cooking, baking, desserts, as a spread on bread, as an addition to various beverages, such as tea.

High-quality honey can be distinguished by fragrance, taste, and consistency. In jars, fresh honey should appear as a pure, consistent fluid, and should not set in layers. Within a few weeks to a few months of extraction, many varieties of honey crystallize into a cream-colored solid. Honey may be heated during bottling at temperatures of 40–49 °C (104–120 °F) to delay or inhibit crystallization.