Honey is a natural product known across the world for its curative and nutritive properties. Its production and consumption in Cádiz is thousand years old as it’s been an integral part of the gastronomy of all cultures that have populated the region. Thus, in Phoenicians times a highly appreciated type of honey was produced and exported. The Romans used to preserve food in oil and honey, and flavour wine with water, honey and spices. Later, the Arabs gave us their exquisite pastries, which were inherited in these lands by the Christian culture and are still alive among us today. Timeless nectar!
Cádiz is the perfect environment for honey since it has well-endowed ecosystems for beekeeping. It offers a favourable natural habitat for the abundant production of aromatic and medical plants, both in mountains area (Grazalema Mountains or Los Alcornocales Natural Park), in-land (Jerez, Guadalete Riverside) and on the coast (Conil, Chiclana, Sanlúcar). Most of the honey from Cadiz stands out for being 100% natural, without additives, and also for having an organic certification.
Beekeeping operations started out being very small. The same beekeeper used to sell their products directly in small shops, at the market or at craft fairs. In recent times, however, a larger-scale supply of honey has also taken shape. The consumption and production of honey has expanded dramatically, and today there are many different types of honey available, in specially designed packaging for the gourmet segment of the market.
Depending on the type of vegetation it comes from, there is a wide variety of types of honey. The most common in the province are the following:
- Thousand-flower: harvested from a variety of different flowers. It’s aromatic and light-coloured. Used as a sugar substitute and for throat ailments.
- Rosemary: white coloured with a very aromatic taste. It’s used to aid digestion, to prevent heart attacks, cirrhosis, coughs, asthma and liver ailments.
- Orange blossom: harvested from the orange tree blossom. Light coloured and orange-like flavour. It has antispasmodic and calming properties and is used against insomnia.
- Heather: dark coloured with an aromatic taste. It’s used for urinary tract disorders, as a diuretic, astringent and against high blood pressure.
- Holm oak: dark coloured with a caramelised flavour. It’s used to combat anaemia.
- Eucalyptus: aromatic flavour. It’s used in respiratory and urinary tract disorders.
- Strawberry tree: amber coloured with a bitter taste. It’s used against diarrhoea and is beneficial for the liver.