Honey from any region of the world will have its own distinctive flavor, according to the soil and plant life in that area. Miele Amaro (Bitter Honey) is a distinctly Sardinian delicacy. Tasting a bit of this honey is like tasting some of the Sardinian flora, growing wild in the Mediterranean sunshine near sparkling coastal waters. It has a complex flavor, and is expertly crafted according to a long standing Sardinian tradition.
Unlike what you might think of as typical honey flavor, this Italian honey has a singular sweet taste at first, with a slightly bitter finish. It is golden amber in color, with a scent that has faint notes of evergreen and herbs as well as sweetness. It pairs well with desserts, salads, ricotta and mascarpone cheeses, fresh fruit, or in a typical Sardinian fashion, with Pane Carasau (Sardinian flat bread) .
This unusual Italian honey is made from the flowers of the arbutus, or “strawberry tree”(Arbutus Unedo). The arbutus is a small evergreen that grows wild in some coastal Mediterranean countries, but is otherwise somewhat rare . The “strawberry tree” gets its name from the edible fruit that looks like small, round strawberries. The flowers of the arbutus hang from the branches in clusters and somewhat resemble lily of the valley blossoms. The Sardinian Miele Amaro is collected in late Autumn to early Winter, after three months of pollination on the flowers. The blossoms of the arbutus produces about half as much nectar as other flowers. Therefore, bees must make approximately twice as many trips flying from the blossom to the hive to produce the same amount of honey. It takes a lot of time, and a lot of work from the bees, to create Sardinian Miele Amaro!
Nutritional studies have shown that this Italian honey contains substantial
concentrations of polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that are thought to promote heart health and reduce the risk of some forms of cancer. Antioxidants also contribute to healthy looking skin and hair. “Bitter Honey” is both tasty and has some positive health properties!